<%BANNER%>
HIDE
 Cover
 Title Page
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Florida's quadricentennial
 Editorial preface
 Introduction
 Title Page
 Letter of transmittal
 Preface
 Introduction
 Main
 Notes
 Appendix
 Advertising
 Index
 Maps


OGRO UPF



Historical memoir of the war in West Florida and Louisians, in 1814-15
CITATION SEARCH THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00103020/00001
 Material Information
Title: Historical memoir of the war in West Florida and Louisians, in 1814-15
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Latour, A. Lacarriere ( Arsene Lacarriere )
Publisher: University of Florida Press
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Publication Date: 1964
Copyright Date: 1964
 Record Information
Source Institution: University Press of Florida
Holding Location: University Press of Florida
Rights Management: This work is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/. You are free to electronically copy, distribute, and transmit this work if you attribute authorship. However, all printing rights are reserved by the University Press of Florida (http://www.upf.com). Please contact UPF for information about how to obtain copies of the work for print distribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the University Press of Florida. Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 1540728
lccn - 64019160
System ID: UF00103020:00001

Table of Contents
    Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page A-i
        Page A-ii
    Front Matter
        Page A-iii
        Page A-iv
        Page A-v
    Frontispiece
        Page A-vi
    Florida's quadricentennial
        Page A-vii
        Page A-viii
        Page A-ix
        Page A-x
    Editorial preface
        Page A-xi
        Page A-xii
    Introduction
        Page A-xiii
        Page A-xiv
        Page A-xv
        Page A-xvi
        Page A-xvii
        Page A-xviii
        Page A-xix
        Page A-xx
        Page A-xxi
        Page A-xxii
        Page A-xxiii
        Page A-xxiv
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        Page A-xxvi
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        Page A-xxviii
        Page A-xxix
        Page A-xxx
        Page A-xxxi
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        Page A-xxxiii
        Page A-xxxiv
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        Page A-xxxix
        Page A-xl
        Page A-xli
        Page A-xlii
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        Page A-xliv
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        Page A-xlvi
        Page A-xlvii
        Page A-xlviii
        Page A-xlix
        Page A-l
    Title Page
        Page B-i
        Page B-ii
        Page B-iii
        Page B-iv
    Letter of transmittal
        Page B-v
        Page B-vi
    Preface
        Page B-vii
        Page B-viii
        Page B-ix
        Page B-x
        Page B-xi
        Page B-xii
        Page B-xiii
        Page B-xiv
        Page B-xv
        Page B-xvi
        Page B-xvii
        Page B-xviii
        Page B-xix
        Page B-xx
    Introduction
        Page B-1
        Page B-2
        Page B-3
        Page B-4
        Page B-5
        Page B-6
        Page B-7
        Page B-8
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        Page B-10
        Page B-11
    Main
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        Page B-14
        Page B-15
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    Notes
        Page B-253
        Page B-254
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        Page B-256
    Appendix
        Page B-257
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    Advertising
        Advertising 1
        Advertising 2
        Advertising 3
        Advertising 4
        Advertising 5
        Advertising 6
    Index
        Index 1
        Index 2
        Index 3
        Index 4
        Index 5
        Index 6
        Index 7
        Index 8
        Index 9
        Index 10
        Index 11
        Index 12
    Maps
        Plate 2
        Plate 3
        Plate 4
        Plate 5
        Plate 6
        Plate 7
        Plate 8
        Plate 9
Full Text






















HISTORICAL MEMOIR
OF

THE WAR
IN


WEST FLORIDA AND LOUISIANA


















FARRIS BRYANT 7
Governor
of the
State of Florida

1961- 1965







Carl Sandburg has said: "Books say Yes to life. Or
they say No." The twelve volumes commemorating the
Quadricentennial of Florida say Yes. They unfold a
story so adventurous and thrilling, so colorful and
dramatic, that it would pass for fiction were the events
not solidly rooted in historical fact. Five varying cul-
tures have shaped the character of Florida and en-
dowed her with the pride and wisdom that come from
full knowledge and abiding understanding. Let us
enjoy with deepening gratitude Florida's magnetic
natural endowments of sun and surf and sky. Let us
also recognize in her unique cultural heritage the pat-
tern of energy and dedication that will spur us to face
the challenges of today and tomorrow with confidence.
I am grateful for the privilege of sharing these vol-
umes with you.

















HISTORICAL MEMOIR

OF

THE WAR
IN


WEST FLORIDA AND LOUISIANA


IN 1814-15.


WITH AN ATLAS.



BY MAJOR A. LACARRIERE LATOUR,
Principal Engineer in the late Seventh Military District United States' Army,






A FACSIMILE REPRODUCTION
of the 1816 EDITION
with
INTRODUCTION
by JANE LUCAS de GRUMMOND


QUADRICENTENNIAL EDITION
of the
FLORIDIANA FACSIMILE &- REPRINT SERIES


University of Florida Press
GAINESVILLE, 1964


































QUADRICENTENNIAL EDITION

of the
FLORIDIANA FACSIMILE & REPRINT SERIES









FACSIMILE REPRODUCTION

of the 1816 EDITION

WITH PREFATORY MATERIAL, INTRODUCTION

&- INDEX ADDED

NEW MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 1964
BY THE
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF
STATE INSTITUTIONS OF FLORIDA


Library of Congrecs Catalog Card No. 64-19160



LITHOPRINTED BY DOUGLAS PRINTING COMPANY, INC.
BOUND BY UNIVERSAL-DIXIE BINDERY, INC.
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA






























THE CABINET

FARRIS BRYANT
Governor


TOM ADAMS
Secretary of State
RAY E. GREEN
State Comptroller


JAMES W. KYNES
Attorney General
J. EDWIN LARSON
State Treasurer


DOYLE E. CONNER THOMAS D. BAILEY
Commissioner of Agriculture Superintendent of Public Instruction


THE BOARD OF CONTROL


BAYA M. HARRISON, JR.
Chairman
St. Petersburg
CHARLES R. FORMAN, D.V.M.
Ft. Lauderdale
WAYNE C. MCCALL, D.D.S.
Ocala
JAMES LAWRENCE KING
Miami


GERT H. W. SCHMIDT
Vice Chairman
Jacksonville
JOHN C. PACE
Pensacola
CHESTER E. WHITTLE
Orlando
J. B. CULPEPPER
Executive Director, Tallahassee



























THE QUADRICENTENNIAL EDITION
of the
FLORIDIANA FACSIMILE &- REPRINT SERIES



CARPETBAG RULE IN FLORIDA by John Wallace. 1888. Edited
by Allan Nevins.
THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION IN FLORIDA by Wil-
liam Watson Davis. 1913. Edited by Fletcher M. Green.
THE EXILES OF FLORIDA by Joshua R. Giddings. 1858. Edited by
Arthur W. Thompson.
FLORIDA FOR TOURISTS, INVALIDS, AND SETTLERS by
George M. Barbour. 1882. Edited by Emmett B. Peter, Jr.
HISTORICAL MEMOIR OF THE WAR IN WEST FLORIDA AND
LOUISIANA IN 1814-15 by A. L. Latour. 1816. Edited by Jane
Lucas de Grummond.
HISTORY OF JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, AND VICINITY, 1513
to 1924 by T. Frederick Davis. 1925. Edited by Richard A.
Martin.
NOTICES OF FLORIDA AND THE CAMPAIGNS by M. M. Cohen.
1836. Edited by O. Z. Tyler, Jr.
THE ORIGIN, PROGRESS, AND CONCLUSION OF THE FLOR-
IDA WAR by John T. Sprague. 1848. Edited by John K. Mahon.
PEDRO MENENDEZ de AVILES by Gonzalo Soli's de Meras. 1567.
(The Florida State Historical Society edition, edited and trans-
lated by Jeannette Thurber Connor.) Edited by Lyle N.
McAlister.
THE PURCHASE OF FLORIDA by Hubert Bruce Fuller. 1906.
Edited by Weymouth T. Jordan.
SKETCHES, HISTORICAL AND TOPOGRAPHICAL, OF THE
FLORIDAS by James Grant Forbes. 1821. Edited by James W.
Covington.
THE WHOLE &- TRUE DISCOUERYE OF TERRA FLORIDA by
Jean Ribaut. 1563. (The Florida State Historical Society edition,
including a biography of Ribaut by Jeannette Thurber Connor.)
Edited by David L. Dowd.




















The Quadricentennial Coat-of-Arms


Surmounted by the Crest symbolizing our National Emblem
and underlined by the Scroll, the Shield with the Tower of
Spain in the Heraldic quarter of honor, followed by the Fleur-
de-lis of France, the Lion Rampant of Britain, and the Mullets
and Saltier of the Confederacy depicts the four-hundred-
year cultural heritage of our Florida of today.































The Florida Quadricentennial Commission acknowledges its deepest gratitude to
Chase D. Sheddan, distinguished scholar, and A. Vernon
Coale, noted Heraldic Artist, for their conception and
portrayal of the official Florida Quadricentennial Coat-
of-Arms.





..



"'' .. '*
.-~-, .,




L. ' .'L





! .U
















FLORIDA'S QUADRICENTENNIAL


LORIDA enjoys a unique position
among the fifty states of the
Union. Her city of St. Augustine
antedates Jamestown, the second
oldest European settlement within
the present boundaries of the
United States, by forty-two years.
But it was not until 1950 that Florida entered the
select circle of the ten most populous states of the
nation. Since 1950 she has passed Massachusetts in
population and is challenging New Jersey for eighth
place. Within the South only Texas with more than
four and one-half times the area of Florida has a larger
population.
Neither number nor age is necessarily a distinction,
but most Americans are impressed by the former and
revere the latter. Floridians view the recent and rapid
increase in their state's population as an indication of
youthful vigor. In 1860 eleven states of the Union had
a million or more inhabitants, a status symbol not at-
tained by Florida until the mid-1920's. At the turn of
the century Florida ranked thirty-third in a nation of
forty-six commonwealths; today she is ninth in popula-
tion among the fifty states. In contrast to the national
increase of less than 20 per cent from 1950 to 1960,
Florida's population increased by more than 78 per
cent. The number of people living in the state in 1964
is more than twice that of 1950.
While boasting of their state's recent surge, Florid-
ians are also proud of their four-hundred-year-old
origin. In 1957 the Florida Quadricentennial Commis-
















viii Florida's Quadricentennial
sion was established. With the approval of its members
local organizations have celebrated the quadricenten-
nials of several historic events. The attempt of Tristdn
de Luna to found a colony on the western tip of Santa
Rosa Island in 1559 was observed in Pensacola by re-
constructing the Spanish village settlement. In 1962
Jacksonville noted the Quadricentennial of Jean Ri-
bault's explorations with a colorful drama. Even be-
fore this tribute to the French explorer, a museum was
built near the spot where in 1564 another Frenchman,
Rene de Laudonniere, brought the first Protestant col-
onists to an area within the present-day United States.
These and other quadricentennial celebrations will
culminate in 1965 with state, national, and interna-
tional observance of the founding of St. Augustine.
There are many ways to celebrate quadricentennials
-parades, speeches, pageants, the re-creation of vil-
lages and forts, and the restoration of buildings. Some
of these are spectacular but fleeting; others, including
the restoration of buildings, will remain for our de-
scendants to see and feel. More enduring than any of
these are ideas. For this reason the Governor, the Cab-
inet, and the Florida Quadricentennial Commission
gave priority to the reprinting of rare and valuable
books relating to Florida. These reproductions will
endure. They will enable many Americans to share in
the state's past, and will provide source material for
the historian.
Until recently few authors or publishers were inter-
ested in Florida. Englishmen brought the first printing
press to Florida in 1783 and from it came a newspaper
and two books. But for a century and a half the books

















Florida's Quadricentennial ix
on Florida were rare and the number of copies printed
was small. In cooperation with the University of Flor-
ida Press the Quadricentennial Commission is reprint-
ing twelve rare or semi-rare books. The subject matter
in these volumes covers a period of more than three
hundred years of Florida's history-the French and
Spanish settlements, the War of 1812, the purchase by
the United States, the Seminole War, the Civil War
and Reconstruction, and the modern period. In addi-
tion to textual reproductions, these facsimile editions
contain introductions by businessmen, journalists, and
professors. The Quadricentennial Commission hopes
these twelve books will stimulate the production of
other reprints and encourage students to write origi-
nal manuscripts which describe and interpret Florida's
past.
The Florida Quadricentennial Commission


THE COMMISSION
FRED H. KENT, Chairman-Jacksonville
DOYLE E. CARLTON, SR.-Tampa
WILSON CARIAWAY-Tallahassee
JEAN ANN CONE-Tampa
CLARENCE M. GAY-Orlando
HAROLD W. GOFORTH-Ocala
HERBERT GRAY-Tampa
JOHN MARSHALL GREEN-Ocala
KATHRYN ABBEY HANNA-Winter Park
MALLORY HORNE-Tallahassee
CHARLES H. OVERMAN-Pensacola
JOHN D. PENNEKAMP-Miami
JOHN FITE ROBERTSON-Sarasota
GERT H. W. SCHMIDT-Jacksonville
H. E. WOLFE-St. Augustine



















EDITORIAL PREFACE.

HISTORICAL-MINDED Americans, preoccupied with
the Civil War Centennial, overlook the sesquicenten-
nial of the only other major conflict fought on United
States territory-the War of 1812. Before the end of the
summer of 1814 the British navy had driven American
ships from the oceans and a British army had captured
and burned Washington. With Napoleon defeated and
exiled on Elba, Great Britain could push the American
war with renewed vigor. In September British forces
arrived in West Florida, a possession of Spain, the
dependent ally of England, and moved from there
against New Orleans. In December and January An-
drew Jackson won his country's greatest victory of the
war by repulsing the invading British army.
The first historian of the Battle of New Orleans
was Arsene Lacarriere Latour. For more than a decade
he had been Napoleon's agent in Louisiana and West
Florida, but in 1814 and 1815 he was Jackson's "Prin-
cipal Engineer in the 7th Military District U. S. Army."
Latour knew the terrain, participated in the battle,
interviewed eyewitnesses, used pertinent documents,
and wrote his memoir with attention to detail and
accuracy. In 1816 a reviewer stated: "Truth is stamped
on the face of Major Latour's narrative by its own in-
ternal evidence. The writer professes no more than to
give us a plain unvarnished tale, a journal, as it were,
of events, as they occurred from day to day, and hence
he has entitled his work an 'Historical Memoir' and
not a 'history,' a name which has often been given to
productions that deserve it less." The reviewer regretted
that Latour "sometimes indulged himself in indecorous
expressions against the British government and nation;
















EDITORIAL PREFACE.


such as 'our ferocious enemy,' and the like; which ought
never to find a place in an historical work:-yet we do
not find that these feelings have made him swerve any
where from the strictest impartiality."
All accounts of the Battle of New Orleans written
by historians since 1816 have been based on Latour's
Historical Memoir. Originally written in French, the
manuscript was translated into English and published
in two volumes. This facsimile edition makes one con-
cession to the cost of printing: the eight maps which
make the second volume of the first edition are bound
with the narrative and appendices of volume one.
The reprinting of Latour's Historical Memoir is
as timely as its editor is qualified. In December, 1964,
and January, 1965, the Battle of New Orleans Sesqui-
centennial Celebration Commission, an organization
authorized by the 87th Congress, will center its observa-
tion on the 150 years of friendship between Great
Britain and the United States which followed the
battle. Although Jane Lucas de Grummond, professor
of history at the Louisiana State University, is primarily
noted for her writings on colonial Latin America, she
is an authority on the Battle of New Orleans. In The
Baratarians and the Battle of New Orleans she ably
describes and interprets the activities of the Laffites
and other Baratarians, who like Latour disliked and
fought the British at the Queen City of the South.
We are grateful to Stanley L. West, Director of
Libraries at the University of Florida, to I. E. Kallman,
President of the Florida Book Store at Gainesville, to
Dr. Dorothy Dodd, Florida State Librarian, and to the
St. Augustine Historical Society for generously lending
the materials that are reproduced in this facsimile.
REMBERT W. PATRICK
University of Florida General Editor of the
November, 1963 FLORIDIANA SERIES




















INTRODUCTORY.


I. Arsene Lacarriere Latour
IF Arsene Lacarriere Latour had not written his
Historical Memoir of the War in West Florida and
Louisiana in 1814-15, it would be difficult for the
casual reader to prove that he ever existed. No article
or biography of Latour is to be found in the usual
English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German encyclo-
pedias; nor can one be found in the usual sources for
American history. His book is not mentioned in book
review digests, readers' guides, or indexes; but it is
listed in Sabin's Bibliotheca Americana.
Historians like Henry Adams, Charles Gayarre,
and James Parton identify Latour briefly as Jackson's
chief engineer; others like Benson J. Lossing fail to
mention him or give him any credit for his basic work
on the War of 1812. There are the following skimpy
sources in English: a sketch of Latour in George W.
Cullum, Campaigns of the War of 1812-15, New York,
1879; an article by Edwin H. Carpenter, Jr., "Arsene
Lacarribre Latour," in the Hispanic American Histori-
cal Review of May, 1938; a review of Latour's His-
torical Memoir in the North American Review and
Miscellaneous Journal of July, 1816; and information
about Latour in Stanley Faye's article, "The Great
Stroke of Pierre Laffite," in the Louisiana Historical
Quarterly, July, 1940.
Who was Latour? What was the background which
caused this man to hide his tracks during the first forty

















INTRODUCTORY.


years of his life and the last twenty as well, and for a
brief moment in between to play the role of patriot
for which he deserves the respect and honor of every
American?
For centuries Spain and France had been tradi-
tional enemies of England, and after 1700 when the
grandson of Louis XIV became king of Spain, family
compacts allied France and Spain against England. The
Family Compact of 1761 superseded previous ones and
was offensive as well as defensive. Four years later,
while the thirteen English colonies on the Atlantic sea-
board were being bedeviled by the Stamp Act, the Duc
de Choiseul and the Abb6 B6liardi hoped to develop
a French colonial empire in America, with bases in
Guiana to penetrate Brazil, in Martinique to check
advances of the English in the Caribbean, and in Haiti
to organize a colony near the mouth of the Mississippi
that would serve as a counterpoise to the English colo-
nies in North America.1 When these latter colonies
revolted, both France and Spain came to their aid.
Five days after Washington was inaugurated Presi-
dent of the United States, the Estates General met in
France for the first time in 175 years, and the French
Revolution began. By 1792 France had become a re-
public and some of her citizens believed that France
should change her policy. They thought France should
no longer ally with Spain but make war on her and
liberate the Spanish Indies. Despotic rule, they argued,
was inconsistent with French principles. Moreover, the
emancipation of Spanish America would be a great
stimulus to French commerce.
French agents and revolutionary doctrines began
to penetrate not only Spanish America but the United
States as well. In 1793 Arsene Lacarribre Latour ap-
peared in Haiti;2 and the Chevalier Anne Louis de
Tousard, trained in artillery, engineering, and fortifica-

















INTRODUCTORY.


tions, established a home in Delaware and began to
travel along the seaboard of the United States where
he directed the building and repair of coastal fortifica-
tions from Massachusetts to the Carolinas. His plan
for a national military academy led, with some revi-
sions, to the establishment of West Point; and later he
became Napoleon's commercial agent in New Orleans.3
It was also in 1793 that a new French Minister,
Edmund Gen&t, arrived in Charleston and began im-
mediately to carry out his instructions. That is, he be-
gan to organize attacks on British and Spanish colonies
and commerce. To do this he enlisted American crews,
fitted out privateers and set up prize courts, and com-
missioned George Rogers Clark and others to organize
frontiersmen, descend the Mississippi, and take New
Orleans from Spain. He hoped later to stir up revolt in
Canada.
Genet's action caused the United States govern-
ment to forbid the outfitting of French privateers or
the recruiting of crews within the jurisdiction of the
United States. Moreover it refused to recognize the
French prize courts Genet had established. Soon there
was a change in the French government and Genet was
dismissed. Then Napoleon came into power, saw the
possibility of bringing Spanish America within his em-
pire, and continued in a more methodical and deter-
mined manner the consistent attempts to do so begun
by the Bourbons. His plan of operation included the
regaining of what France had lost in America-first
Saint-Domingue (Haiti) and Louisiana, then an army
of occupation in Louisiana could roll up the Mississippi
toward Canada.
By 1802 Napoleon had regained Louisiana by di-
plomacy and French Saint-Domingue by force, and he
had begun to assemble two armies (one for Louisiana,
the other for Saint-Domingue) at the port of Helvoet-

















INTRODUCTORY.


Sluis in Holland while his engineer agents penetrated
Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf Coast cities. It was in
1802 that Arsene Lacarriere Latour and Barthelemi
Lafon arrived in New Orleans.4 Latour remained ob-
scure, while Lafon acquired property. One need only
look at Latour's map, Plate II, to see the strategic area
along Bayou Sauvage where Lafon was granted a planta-
tion. Both men began surveying and mapping coastal
areas of Florida and Louisiana.
Napoleon's armies were to leave Holland by the
end of 1802, but weather delayed troop concentration
and the port froze over before the expedition was ready
to sail. It was icebound until the spring of 1803. Mean-
while, General Charles Leclerc and many of his troops
died of yellow fever in Haiti, those who survived were
being killed by ex-slaves, and in Europe England was
preparing to declare war on Napoleon before he be-
came powerful in the West. Napoleon withdrew from
Saint-Domingue and sold Louisiana to the United
States, but this did not mean the end of his try at em-
pire building in America.
President Thomas Jefferson sent W. C. C. Clai-
borne, governor of the Mississippi Territory, and Briga-
dier General James Wilkinson to New Orleans in
December, 1803, to receive Louisiana for the United
States from the French Prefect, Pierre Clement Laussat.
Wilkinson, ranking officer of the United States Army
and agent No. 13 in Spain's secret service, was not
above conniving with French agents. Latour tells us
that he and Lafon had already made accurate maps of
Louisiana on a large scale, which they delivered to the
brigadier general, "who, it is presumable, did not fail
to forward them to the secretary of war."5
Latour wished to prove his point that the "general
government" of the United States "ought to have been
well informed of the vulnerable points of Louisiana,"

















INTRODUCTORY.


so he did not add that Spain and France were also well
informed. Moreover, he was silent about Wilkinson's
genius for making suckers of everyone who listened to
him. Wilkinson did get the maps, but Latour never
said whether or not he and Lafon had been paid for
them. During the three weeks Wilkinson overstayed
his leave in New Orleans, he convinced Spanish au-
thorities his pay should be doubled, and received
12,000 Mexican pesos on account when he delivered a
monograph -illustrated with maps of Louisiana-in
which he advised Spain to hold on to the Floridas with
the help of France.6 Then he left for Washington.
When he arrived at the capital, he presented the
Secretary of War with a monograph, complete with
maps, on The Topography of Louisiana. He apologized
for being three weeks late for his appointment with the
Secretary, saying that it had taken three weeks and had
cost him considerable expense to prepare this report.
Henry Dearborn took Wilkinson and his monograph
and maps to President Jefferson who was so impressed
that he paid Wilkinson from his contingent fund for
the "considerable expense" he had incurred in gather-
ing the data presented.7
Claiborne, now governor of the Territory of Or-
leans, wrote to the President on June 17, 1805, that "A
Mr. Lafon is now engaged in surveying the Land on the
Canal of Carondelet." On the same day Claiborne
wrote to the Postmaster General as follows:

The Map which I have now the Honor to enclose
was made out by Mr. Lafon from an actual sur-
vey of the Country which it delineates, and ought
of consequence to be very accurate. If it is so no
difficulty will be experienced in Transportation
of the Mail on the Route marked out by the red
lines along the Canal of Carondelet, the Bayou


XVii

















INTRODUCTORY.


Gentilli, the Chemin du Chef Menteur to the
River of that name, as the Road is so far well
opened;-from hence for the present at least, the
transportation must be by water through the
Bayou and Lake Catherine across the Rigolets and
then either up one of the Branches of the Pearl
River to the residence of Mr. Favre, or along an-
other one to a place marked on the map Boisdore,
or perhaps it would be better to terminate the
Water Carriage a little to the west of this at a
place marked (0) where once stood the village
Marangoin, and from whence there is an old In-
dian Road leading through the Pine Woods in a
Northern direction. From this place Mr. Lafon
tells me it is according to his Maps about 130
Miles to Fort Stoddart. Should the Transportation
of the Mail by water along the Bayou Catherine
8cc be objected to, as more tedious and expensive
than a Land Carriage, it is the belief of Mr. Lafon
that the Government may open a road from the
River Chef Menteur in the direction pointed out
by the Red lines through the Ile Aux Pins and the
Island at the Mouth of the Marangoin to Boisdore
for $3500. The difficulties he says are not great,
though it would be necessary to throw up Small
Levees in some places, as the high winds from the
South east occasionally force the Waters of the
Gulph over the bank at particular places.8

Meanwhile, Napoleon had found it necessary to
tighten his clutch on Charles IV. This king of Spain
and the Indies had agreed to give Napoleon 72,000,000
francs, but when not one franc had been paid at the
stated time, Napoleon sent the banker G. J. Ouvrard
to Madrid. Ouvrard found the treasury empty but
learned there were millions of pesos in Mexico and


XViii

















INTRODUCTORY.


Peru which had not been shipped to Europe because
of the war. Soon Ouvrard's brother, of the firm Ouv-
rard, De Chailles and Company of Philadelphia, made
a trip to Mexico and saw in the treasury there more
than 71,000,000 pesos.9
On November 26, 1804, Ouvrard signed in Madrid
a common and mutual partnership with Charles IV for
the duration of the war. The main conditions were that
Ouvrard would have (1) full power to import into all
harbors of Spanish America every description of goods
and produce needed for colonial consumption; and (2)
complete authority to export thence, duty free, all their
productions, especially gold and silver. Then Ouvrard
received 752 drafts for 52,500,000 pesos and 500 royal
licenses for the introduction of goods duty free. Blanks
were left on the licenses for the names of captains, ton-
nage, flags, and nature of cargoes.'0
In April, 1805, Ouvrard was in Amsterdam with
Hope and Company (largely English) working out
plans for getting Mexican silver to Europe. This in-
volved getting permission from the British government
to transport silver from Veracruz to England. Nolte
tells us that William Pitt was aware of the aid and
comfort the importation of Mexican silver might give
the enemy, but at the same time Pitt realized the great
advantage this supply of silver would be to British
trade."
What Nolte did not know was that Aaron Burr's
agent, Charles Williamson, had been telling Pitt about
Burr's scheme to detach the southwestern part of the
United States, conquer Mexico, and set up an empire
under British protection.12 At the same time Pitt was
considering the plan for Sir Home Popham and Fran-
cisco de Miranda to separate South America from
Spain. This would be a three-pronged attack. The
British governor of Trinidad would command the naval

















INTRODUCTORY.


squadron in the Caribbean. Miranda would direct land
operations from Venezuela west through New Granada
to Panama. Sepoys from India and recruits from Austra-
lia would attack on the Pacific Coast at Panama, Lima,
and Valparaiso. Sir Home Popham would take Buenos
Aires."1
While Pitt was weighing these, schemes, he saw
that England had nothing to lose and much to gain
from Mexican silver. He could find ways to keep it
from getting to France. So he gave permission for its
transport. In spite of the fact that England was at war
with Spain, four English frigates unobtrusively ap-
peared at Veracruz, received 14,000,000 pesos, and de-
parted for England.14
This was one-fourth of the amount to be trans-
ferred to Europe. The other three-fourths would be
not in cash but in trade. Merchants of the United
States would take out insurance in England, accept
drafts endorsed by Hope and Company, and send ship-
ments on their own accounts. In this way cargoes would
be given the character of neutral property.
In 1805 the Chevalier Anne Louis de Tousard
(who had seen West Point established in 1802) arrived
in New Orleans as Napoleon's consul, and David Parish
arrived in Philadelphia-the intermediate point be-
tween New York and Baltimore. Here Parish estab-
lished headquarters. Two other agents were needed;
one in Mexico to oversee the sale of incoming cargoes,
present bills of exchange, and ship coin; another in
New Orleans to send German, English, and French
manufactured goods to Veracruz and receive the coin
the ships brought back. A. P. Lestapis, under the name
of Jos4 Gabriel de Villanueva, went to Veracruz and
Vincent Nolte arrived in New Orleans on Easter Sun-
day in 1806.15
Three times as many ships legitimately sailed from

















INTRODUCTORY.


New Orleans each month of the first six months of
1806 as had sailed on the average for the previous seven-
teen months.'" Most of these ships came from New
England ports, New York, and Philadelphia. Forty per
cent gave a European port as their destination. A few
gave their destination as Pensacola-London, which in-
dicates that others who had declared their intention of
going to a Gulf or Caribbean port may have been on
their way to Liverpool, Greenock, Bordeaux, "Nantz,"
Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Emden, Groningen,
and even "Varela on the Jade."
Privateers from the French islands and ship cap-
tains from New Orleans did most of the shuttle trade
from that city to Veracruz, "Campeachy," Tabasco, and
Laguna. Merchants collected huge commissions. For-
eign goods re-exported from the United States jumped
from $36 million in 1804 to $60 million in 1806.17
Everyone prospered. Suddenly the picture changed.
British Orders in Council, May 16, 1806, declared
the European coast blockaded from the Elbe River to
Brest. This would channel West Indian trade and
silver to England and keep it from reaching Napoleon.
Napoleon retaliated, November 21, 1806, with his Ber-
lin Decree which began by accusing England of ruin-
ing the trade of neutral nations with Europe so that
British merchants would profit. Therefore the British
Isles were henceforth to be considered in a state of
blockade and all commerce and correspondence with
them prohibited. A vessel coming from, or touching at,
a British port would be refused access to any port on
the Continent. Napoleon sent letters of marque to his
agents in America.
England may have had a measure of control over
European seas, but the hundreds of privateers who
scuttled her shipping in the Gulf of Mexico and the
Caribbean disputed her claim to superiority in that

















xxii INTRODUCTORY.

theater. She began in dead earnest to capture all the
French islands in the West Indies, and finally took the
last of them, Martinique and Guadeloupe, by 1810.
Consul Tousard in New Orleans was kept busy looking
after privateers sailing under French letters of marque.
Three of them made the headlines there several times
in the first part of 1810. They were the Duc de Monte-
bello, L'Entrepide and L'Epine. The Duc de Monte-
bello was built in Baltimore, L'Entrepide was built
in New Orleans and fitted out in Saint Barth6lemy.
Early in April these two schooners entered the Mis-
sissippi at the Balize in distress. Among L'Epine's
papers were found instructions to the captain which
said that when he made good prizes of either merchan-
dise or money, he was to enter the Mississippi "in dis-
tress," store or sell his cargo at New Orleans, and
deposit his cash in the United States Bank. This news
was published in the Louisiana Gazette, Wednesday,
April 25. In the same paper was the following item
about L'Entrepide:

COMMUNICATION
The French privateer Entrepide built by some of
our good citizens under the guns of Fort St.
Charles; sailed from this place under American
colours-was fitted out as a privateer in some port
of the West-Indies; came into our river according
to custom in DISTRESS, was libeled by the District
Attorney, and yesterday the honourable Judge of
the District Court ordered her to be liberated on
the owners or claimants giving bond to the amount
of 1500 dollars, which was done immediately and
once more the French colours were displayed at
her mast head. It is presumable she will soon go to
sea on a cruise 8e if fortunate, will again return in
DISTRESS. "Hail Columbia happy land !!!"

















INTRODUCTORY.


Privateers, their associates in New Orleans, and
all those citizens who were buying their prize goods at
low, low prices must have enjoyed reading in the same
paper the next day the following column:

MORE PRIVATEERS--In Distress
A Portuguese brig with 104 slaves prize to the
French privateer Le Guillaume, Capt. Laurine,
arrived at the Balize on the 18th inst. in DISTRESS,
and was seized by Lieut. Read of the Vesuvius.
Le Guillaiume, Blossom and Superior, having,
from the best information, made very successful
cruises, are supposed to be in great distress, and
may be daily expected at the Balize.
The following summary will serve to give our
readers some idea of the recent distresses in this
quarter:
Late Arrivals
La Franchaise-Distress greal-Indigo and specie-
value about 80 or 90 thousand dollars.
L'Entrepide- distress moderate-6000 dollars in
specie.
Le Duc de Montebello-distress extreme; full of
rich dry goods and specie.
Le Petit Chance-distress considerable; dry goods
and Mahogany-auger hole in her bottom.
L'Epine-distress agreeable to orders of the owners
-dry goods and specie.
Le (;Gillaume's Prize-distress extreme, cargo slaves
-demand great.

Before L'Epine sailed from New Orleans, the
owner of the ship John brought suit against her captain
for goods plundered from the John at sea. He also
claimed $1,000 damages. The captain of L'Epine,
rather than hazard a trial, paid $600 and got an acquit-


XXlll

















INTRODUCTORY.


tal.1" On July 2 L'Epine was off the Balize again, with
signal up for a pilot. She sent in a prize, the Alert, with
153 slaves. The Alert was seized, her slaves appraised
at $44,975 and sold in New Orleans for that amount.'"
For the next three weeks L'Epine stood off the
mouth of the river. The ship John lay at the Balize,
afraid to put to sea. She had been cleared for a port in
Ireland. On July 26 the Louisiana Gazette reported
that L'Epine was in the custody of Custom House offi-
cials, but that it was said, "She is no longer a privateer,
that her commission or license has expired, and she
now enters our waters as an innocent merchantman."
This news was followed by: "Encouragement for
French Privateers. If Mons. Turreau [French minister
to the United States] could prevail on Mr. Madison to
withdraw the whole of the navy from our coast, we
could be supplied with slaves on very moderate terms;
as it is, with the assistance of skilful smugglers, well
fee'd lawyers and hard swearing, we get negroes from
Africa full as cheap as we formerly did."
Meanwhile, Sir Home Popham had taken Buenos
Aires in the summer of 1806, and several millions in
money and produce from the La Plata area reached
London, while Aaron Burr started down river to New
Orleans. His partner, Brigadier General James Wilkin-
son, wrote Jefferson, November 12, 1806, about Burr's
"conspiracy" to seize Louisiana.2" Burr was captured,
and as his dream fizzled, so did Miranda's invasion of
Venezuela. Spanish coast guards captured two of his
ships off the coast of Venezuela, but with help from the
British navy Miranda did make a landing at Coro.
Townspeople did not rush to enlist as Miranda had
said they would, instead they disappeared. Without
troops he could not drive out the Spaniards. He re-
turned to England and learned that Popham had been
driven from Buenos Aires. A Frenchman, Santiago


XXiv

















INTRODUCTORY.


Liniers, had aroused Creoles there to throw out the
British.21
England sent 12,000 troops to retake Buenos Aires,
and speeded operations in the Caribbean. The two
largest French islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe,
defied her until 1810, but she took other islands in
1807-especially the Dutch islands of Curacao, Bonaire,
and Aruba near the coast of Venezuela. British Orders
in Council for that year said that any vessel trading to
or from enemy ports would be subject to capture un-
less they first put in at a British port, paid a fee, and
obtained a certificate. Napoleon retaliated with his
Milan Decree, December 17, 1807, saying that any ves-
sel which did so would be considered an English vessel
and liable to seizure.
In the late spring of 1808 Napoleon put his
brother Joseph on the throne of Spain and the Indies.
Now Napoleon could transfer to his control Spain's
immense colonial empire which stretched from Puget
Sound to the Strait of Magellan. This could be quickly
and peacefully achieved if Spanish officials in the New
World (viceroys, captains general, members of audien-
cias and cabildos, and archbishops and bishops) would
accept Joseph as king of Spain and the Indies. Even
before negotiations with Charles IV and his son Fer-
dinand were concluded, Napoleon sent more agents
to New York, the center of his intrigue. From there
they infiltrated New Orleans, Havana, Haiti, Mexico,
and all the major cities of Spanish South America.22
Napoleon's instructions to these agents and his
dispatches to Spanish officials in America represent a
tremendous amount of correspondence. No efforts were
spared to convince viceroys, captains general, and the
rest that they were to keep their offices under the new
king who now confirmed them in those offices; and that
Napoleon would energetically aid in maintaining "the

















INTRODUCTORY.


tranquility of distant possessions and their union with
the motherland in such a manner as to strengthen the
indissoluble bonds resulting from their intimate family
relations and from that identity of religion, language,
laws, usages, manners and interests which make of Spain
and her colonies a single nation destined by Providence
to remain forever one of the leading nations of the
world."23
The reaction was not what Napoleon expected.
Spanish officials repulsed his agents with outbursts of
loyalty to Ferdinand VII and execrations of El Rey
Intruso. Great Britain changed her centuries-old policy
of hostility to Spain. English agents, perhaps equally
numerous with the French, urged the Spanish colonies
to make common cause with Spain against France. On
July 4, 1808, the English king proclaimed that because
of the resistance of Spain to the usurpations of France,
the Spanish nation could no longer be considered as
the enemy of Great Britain but was considered by His
Majesty as "a natural friend and ally.""24 Eight days
later Arthur Wellesley (Wellington) with his legions
sailed for Spain to begin the Peninsular Campaign.
By August of the following year Napoleon's minis-
ters assured him the Spanish colonies were lost, and
recommended that since Spain had had possession of
them for three centuries, their sudden emancipation
would reduce her to misery.25 Napoleon changed his
tactics. He would incite Spain's colonies to rebellion,
aid them to gain independence, then France as the
friend of the liberated would dominate the commerce
of America.
Napoleon now transferred his headquarters in the
Western World from New York to Baltimore. English
and Spanish spies were on the alert when the French
warship Tilsit arrived there in December, 1809. Luis
de Onis, minister of Spain in the United States, had


xxvi
















INTRODUCTORY. Xxvii

the commander of the Tilsit carefully watched. This
was Joseph Desmolard, a privateer who had taken many
English prizes, and who had impressed Soult and Murat
with his talent for espionage.26
From a mansion in Baltimore, Desmolard directed
revolutionary activities of an army of agents in Span-
ish America; and soon Onis reported that the French-
man had fifty agents in Baltimore who were in touch
with General Louis M. Turreau, French Minister in
Washington.27 With the help of the English, Onis was
able to send to the Captain General of Venezuela a par-
tial list of French agents who had dispersed through
Spanish America, including Florida and, via New
Orleans, the Florida panhandle.28
Napoleon's master plan for Desmolard and his
agents stated:

The object which these agents are to aim at, for
the present, is no other than that of manifesting to
and persuading the Creoles of Spanish America,
that H. I. and R. M. has solely in view, the giving
liberty to a people, enslaved for so many years,
without expecting any return for so great a boon
other than the friendship of the natives, and the
commerce with the harbours of both Americas:
that, to render South America free and independ-
ent from Europe, His said Majesty offers all the
necessary assistance, of troops and warlike stores,
having agreed with the United States of North
America,29 to accommodate him therewith. Every
commissary, or agent in chief, being acquainted
with the district to which he is deputed, and also
with the character of its inhabitants, will have no
difficulty in selecting proper persons, to give them
the needful instructions for persuading the people
and pointing out to them, the advantages they will

















INTRODUCTORY.


derive from throwing off the European yoke. He
will make them observe that large sums will re-
main and circulate in the American provinces, by
suspending the profuse remittances which they
are continually making to Spain; and that their
commerce will be increased, and their ports be
open to all foreign nations. He will dwell upon
the advantages to be derived by them, from the
freedom of agriculture, and the cultivation of all
those objects at present prohibited by the Spanish
government, for instance, that of saffron, hemp,
flax, olives, vines, &c.- The benefit that will ac-
crue to them, from the establishment of manu-
factures of every sort; the great satisfaction and
advantages of abolishing the monopolies of tobac-
co, gunpowder, stamps, &c. To obtain all which,
with facility, the people being for the greatest
part barbarous, the agents ought to be solicitous
to render themselves acceptable to the governors,
intendants, curates, and prelates. They will spare
no expence, nor any other means of gaining their
goodwill, especially that of the ecclesiastics, on
whom they are to prevail to urge and persuade
the penitents when they come to confess, that they
stand in need of an independent government, that
they must not lose so favourable an opportunity,
as that which now presents itself, and which the
Emperor Napoleon affords them, who, they are to
make the people believe, is sent by God, to chastise
the pride and tyranny of monarchs, and that it is
a mortal sin, admitting of no pardon, to resist
God's will. They will, on every occasion, call to
their minds, the opposition they experience from
Europeans, the vile manner in which they are
treated by them, and the contempt to which they
are exposed. They will also remind the Indians,


xxviii

















INTRODUCTORY.


circumstantially, of the cruelties which the Span-
iards employed in their conquests, and the in-
famies which they committed towards their
legitimate sovereigns, by dethroning them; by tak-
ing away their lives or enslaving them. They will
depict the acts of injustice which they daily experi-
ence, when applying for places which are bestowed
by the viceroys and governors upon those who are
either more submissive or pay better, to the exclu-
sion of the meritorious. They will direct the peo-
ple's attention to the superior talents of the many
neglected Creoles, and people of merit, contrasted
with the European public officers and ecclesiastics,
which will make apparent the hardships they suf-
fer, and will enable them to draw a parallel be-
tween the talents and merits of the Creoles, and
those of the European officers. They will set before
their eyes, the difference between the United States
and Spanish America, the comforts which those
Americans enjoy, their progress in commerce, agri-
culture, and navigation, and the pleasure of living
free from the European yoke, and being left solely
to their patriotic and elective government. They
will assure them, that America, once disengaged
from Spain, will become the legislatrix of Europe.
All agents, both principal and subordinate, are to
specify the names of those who declare themselves
friends and votaries of liberty; and the subaltern
agents are to transmit the lists to the principals,
who will make their reports to my envoy in the
United States, for my information, and that I may
duly reward every individual. My agents will re-
frain from declaiming against the inquisition or
the church, and, in their conversations, rather in-
sist upon the necessity of that holy tribunal, and
on the usefulness of the clergy. Upon the insurrec-


xxix

















INTRODUCTORY.


tional standards or banners, is to be inscribed
the motto "Long live the Catholic, Apostolic, and
Roman religion, and perish the bad government."
They will, moreover, make the Indians observe
how happy they will be when they become once
more masters of their country, and free from the
tyrannical tribute which they pay to a foreign
monarch. And lastly, they will tell the people, that
their said monarch does not so much as exist in
his own government, but is in the power of the
restorer of liberty and the universal legislator,
Napoleon. In a word, these agents must, by all
possible means, endeavour to shew the people the
utility which will arise to them from the govern-
ment in question. The revolution having thus
been prepared, and all the principal members, who
are to take a share in it, in every city and province
having been gained, it will be for the chief and
subordinate agents to accelerate the insurrection,
and give early advice to the other subordinate
agents, in order that the rising may take place at
the different points agreed upon, on the same day,
and at the same hour, this being a very material
point, which will greatly facilitate the enterprise.
The principal agents, in every province of their
department, and the subalterns, in the points as-
signed them, will win over the domestics of gover-
nors, intendants, and other persons in power, and
by means of them they will poison (envenear) those
of this class, whom they consider as hostile to the
undertaking, an operation [the poisoning] which is
to precede the revolution, in order to remove all
obstacles. The first point to be considered, will be
how to stop the remittances of treasure to the
Peninsula, which may be easily effected, by having
good agents at Vera Cruz, and the other ports of


XXX

















INTRODUCTORY.


the American continent, but principally at Vera
Cruz, where all the vessels arriving from Europe
will be received, and their officers and crews im-
mediately confined in the fortresses, until every
thing shall have succeeded, and the revolution be
in forwardness. The agents are further directed to
instruct their subagents to transmit to them fre-
quent accounts of the progress of the revolution;
and the chief agents will communicate with the
Envoy in the United States, by the channels that
shall be pointed out to them. For this purpose it
will be proper to keep prepared, land-conveyances
to those points of the coast which may be deemed
suitable, and where there are always to lie ready,
vessels for any emergency.
(Signed) JOSEPH NAPOLEON
To my Envoy,
DESMOLARD.

These instructions had to be signed by Joseph,
since he was king of Spain and the Indies. They were
written in the fall of 1809.30 The Venezuelan Juan
GermAn Roscio discovered a copy of the instructions,
added a postscript, and gave the whole to the British.31
Roscio's postscript was as follows:

P. S. To promote a certain object, of which you
have intimation, three other vessels are preparing
at Baltimore. There are now four vessels frequent-
ing the different points of the American continent,
known to the agents, who will thereby continue
giving information of what may occur. The points
to which they more especially resort are New San-
tander, Tampico in the kingdom of Mexico, the
coast of Gamayagua, Truxillo, Guantimala, and
the harbours of Peru, Cumana, Rio de la Hacha,


XXXi

















INTRODUCTORY.


Cartagena, Santa F6, Caracas, 8cc. and the rest of
the Costa Firme, whither also frequently sail two
vessels, pretending to be smugglers from Jamaica.
Desmolard, from recent advices he has received
from Mexico, is confident that the number of par-
tisans already engaged is immense, and those all of
the first rank; he makes no doubt that the insur-
rection will take place in that realm, that the suc-
cess of the scheme at Vera Cruz, is quite certain;
which will be the principal point of the whole
expedition; that he, therefore, keeps ready a safe
conveyance to advise those in New Orleans, where
all necessary succours are ready, but that he thinks
even these useless, from the promises of success
held out by the party in his interest, as well as
from the supineness of that government, which
will not take any vigorous steps when the moment
is arrived; that he has, besides, secured the power-
ful co-operation of the Indian governors of the
Teypares of San Juan and Santiago in Mexico, and
those of the provinces of Tlascala and Tepeaca,
which are in the strait road to Vera Cruz, by which
means the remittances of treasure, and all corre-
spondence with Mexico, will be cut off completely;
that he has also very encouraging intelligence from
California; and that those from Lima are not less
so. Desmolard, from the accounts he has received,
also calculates upon the principal officers of the
army, especially on the garrison of Vera Cruz, and
the detachment of the castle of Porote, which he
will have immediately in his interest, and which
is a point that will afford the means of entirely
cutting off the correspondence of the whole king-
dom from Vera Cruz; and finally, that he flatters
himself with the happy issue of his ulteriour
projects.


xxxii

















INTRODUCTORY.


This copy is taken from the original in the office
of the Secretary to the Supreme Junta, preserv-
ing the rights of Don Ferdinand VII. in Venezuela;
and intending to communicate the present to H. E.
the Admiral of the Barbadoes station, as a precau-
tion against Napoleon's intrigues, I have signed
it at the Caracas, May 31, 1810.
(Signed) J. G. ROSEIO [sic]

According to these instructions, if Napoleon's
agents did their work well, revolts against Spain would
begin "at the different points agreed upon, on the same
day, and at the same hour . ."; that is, revolutions
would begin the same day in Baton Rouge, Mexico,
Havana, Panama, Cartagena, Bogota, Caracas, Buenos
Aires, Santiago de Chile, Lima, La Paz, and Quito. Up-
risings did occur in these places, not on the same day,
but in the same year, 1810; and the first Spanish colony
to gain its independence was West Florida with its
capital at Baton Rouge. Sixteen years later George Can-
ning, British Foreign Secretary, had the effrontery to
boast: "I called the New World into existence to re-
dress the balance of the Old."
In the spring of 1810 the Spanish consul in New
Orleans informed Onis in Washington of the activities
of French agents in the Baton Rouge District. Onis
sent orders to the Spanish governor, Carlos de Lassus,
to expel the French from Baton Rouge. This De Lassus
did in June.32 However, French agents had already
done their work well, and news from Venezuela assured
and stimulated a people already disposed to govern
themselves.3
On Monday, July 2, 1810, an item appeared in the
Gazette under the heading "For the Louisiana Gazette"
in which the author analyzed "the people composing
the district of New Feliciana, which comprehends that


Xxxiii

















INTRODUCTORY.


part of West Florida, bordering on the Mississippi and
extending eastwardly about one hundred miles." He
stated that in New Feliciana "real Spaniards are few,
their zealous attachment to the cause of Spain would
induce them to submit to any order from the Spanish
Junta . Bonaparte had his friends and emissaries in
office who recommend the people to declare for King
Joseph-this, however, is done generally under the rose,
but it is well known to be a fact. In this distracted state
of things, without law or government, the people have
thought proper and prudent to hold meetings to con-
sult for the general safety."
On July 25 representatives of fourteen families
met at the home of Richard Duvall, about thirty miles
north of Baton Rouge, declared for Ferdinand VII, and
proceeded to act as the government while pretending
they were trying to help De Lassus carry out the law.34
This junta appointed Philemon Thomas commander
of militia and authorized him to raise a volunteer force
to take Baton Rouge.
On Saturday night, September 22, three royalists
went to warn De Lassus that the fort at Baton Rouge
would be attacked at daybreak. There were several
large gaps in the stockade of logs which enclosed the
powder magazine and soldiers' quarters. For years the
Spanish government had not spent one cent on repairs.
Twenty soldiers and two officers were in the fort. Two
officers were sleeping in town and one of these had the
keys to the powder magazine.
De Lassus went to arouse the officer who had the
keys, but patriots had already arrived at the fort, had
gone through the gaps of the stockade, and were in
possession. They hauled down the Spanish flag and ran
up the flag of the Republic of West Florida, the "Lone
Star Flag"-a blue banner with a white star in the
center.


xxxiv

















INTRODUCTORY.


It was five days before this news got in the New
Orleans papers; then on Thursday, September 27, the
Gazette under the headline "THE FLORIDIAN WAR" re-
ported that letters from Baton Rouge said "the attack
was made on the fort between two and three o'clock on
Sunday morning last, that General Philemon Thomas
commanded the militia who made the attack, that at
eight o'clock the American flag was hoisted.""'
A notice appeared in the Gazette on Saturday, Sep-
tember 22 (the day on which Philemon Thomas and
his militia descended the Mississippi to take the fort at
Baton Rouge), and again on September 24.

TO THE PUBLIC
MR. ARSENE LACARRIERE LATOURE [sic] & MR. HYA-
CISTHE LACLOTIE [sic], Engineers and Architects,
have entered into co-partnership in the exercise
of their profession.
They intend to undertake the building of all
public and private edifices, to direct all kinds of
buildings on adopted plans, to draw up estimates
of works to be executed, according to the usages
of the country and the rules of art, and to settle
all accounts of materials furnished, in the case of
any dispute between other undertakers and the
persons employing them.
On the 20th of this month Messrs Latour and
Laclotte will open a school, in which they will
teach drawing in its various branches; portrait, and
scape, the designing and colouring of plans, level-
ling, perspective, ornament; architecture in all its
branches, as the composition and distribution of
plans, the details of carpenters work, joinery,
masonry, smith work, &c, &c. the distribution,
ornamenting and furnishing of apartments in the
newest taste, and according to the principles


XXXV

















INTRODUCTORY.


adopted in the Paris academy of fine arts, of which
they are both pupils.
This school will be open every day in the week,
except Thursday and Sunday, from seven till nine
in the morning, and from six till eight in the
evening.
Messrs Latour and Laclotte will let such of their
pupils as may desire it, attend the progress of the
buildings carried on or superintended by them, to
give them an opportunity of applying the rules of
theory to practice.
The terms are, for the morning school, six dol-
lars a month; for the evening school, eight dollars.
Their place of abode is in the house of Madame
Ve Guillemard, at the corner of Royal and Orleans
streets.36

Either Latour and Laclotte had a secret source of
income or they prospered in their profession. Within
three months they were able to buy the property at 625
Dauphine Street. Soon they built the Orleans Street
Theater, remodeled the Le Monnier residence at St.
Peter and Royal Streets, and built a house at 619 Bour-
bon Street.37 However, two years later (May 7, 1813)
they filed a petition in bankruptcy, and the inventory
made on June 3 of their possessions is not very im-
pressive.
Did the change in Napoleon's fortunes have any
connection with Latour's bankruptcy? The previous
winter Napoleon had salvaged less than one-fifth of his
Grand Army from the Russian invasion and was at this
time conscripting an army to defend himself in the Ger-
manies. He had already lost Spain. In October, 1813, he
lost the "Battle of the Nations" (Leipzig); Paris fell at
the end of March; and a few days later he abdicated and
was exiled to Elba.


xxxvi

















INTRODUCTORY. XXXVii

Latour tells us that in 1813 Brigadier General
Thomas J. Flournoy ordered "Major Lafon, then chief
engineer of the district, to draw up an exact account
of all points to be fortified for the general defence of
Louisiana. The draughts which were numerous, and
formed an atlas, were accompanied with very particular
explanatory notes. That work . pointed out in the
most precise and clear manner what was expedient to
be done, in order to put the country in a state of secur-
ity against all surprise .. to enable the government to
determine . the points proper to be fortified. To
what fatality then was it owing, that Louisiana . .
was so long left without the means of resisting the
enemy?"38
The next year Edward Livingston recommended
Latour and not Lafon to Andrew Jackson when British.
invasion forces were approaching the coasts of Florida
and Louisiana. Livingston wrote Jackson on November
21, 1814, saying: "Should an Engineer be wanted either
for works at Pensacola or those to be erected here, per-
mit me to recommend Mr. Lacarriere Latour. He is
regularly educated to that business in the best schools
of France and is a man of perfect honor and integrity
and speaks both French and English fluently. Should
you want a man of this Description the Character I give
of him will be confirmed by every man of respectability
in the place.""9
Jackson did want a man of Latour's "Description"
and made him, as Latour so proudly records, "Principal
Engineer in the 7th Military District U. S. Army." One
of Jackson's first orders to Latour was to draw plans
for batteries on the lower Mississippi and in the
Sauvage-Chef Menteur sector.
On the evening of December 22, Colonel Denis de
La Ronde sent Jackson word that several sails had
been seen off the point of the three bayous behind

















INTRODUCTORY.


Terre aux Boeufs. Jackson sent Latour and topographi-
cal engineer Howell Tatun to find out whether or not
this report were true and to examine all the communi-
cations from Terre aux Boeufs to Lake Borgne. It was
eleven o'clock on December 23 when Latour and
Tatum left the city. Beginning two or three miles be-
low the city were six plantations that were to be the
main theater of action during the next month. Going
down river, these were Macarty, Chalmette, Bienvenue,
De La Ronde, Lacoste, and Villere. When Latour and
Tatum reached the boundary between Bienvenue and
De La Ronde plantations, they met several persons
flying towards town who told them the British were at
Villere's house and had taken Major Villere prisoner.
Tatum returned to town to inform Jackson, while
Latour went on to Villere's plantation from which
point he observed British troops "occupying the ground
from the commencement of the angle made by the road
in that place to the head of the canal." He approached
within rifleshot of those troops and judged their num-
ber to be sixteen or eighteen hundred. More troops
were on the way. An ordinary scout could not have
made such an exact and rapid calculation. It was then
half past one in the afternoon. Within twenty-five
minutes Latour was reporting to Jackson.
Jackson knew he could rely on this information,
and that only for a few hours would he slightly
outnumber the British. He made the decision which
defeated the enemy: "Gentlemen, we must attack to-
night!"
So the British were surprised on the night of De-
cember 23. They failed to destroy the Louisiana on the
27th, failed miserably on the 28th and January 1st and
8th, and slunk away on the 19th. Latour finished his
Historical Memoir the following August and dedicated
it to Major General Andrew Jackson. Then he went to


XXXUlll

















INTRODUCTORY.


Philadelphia and copyrighted his book on March 6,
1816. He saw Jean Laffite in Philadelphia. Laffite had
been in the East several months petitioning President
Madison for payment of the guns and ammunition the
Baratarians had supplied for the Battle of New Or-
leans.4' The account was never honored.
When Latour and Jean Laffite returned to New
Orleans, they found that Pierre Laffite had become
Spain's principal secret agent there and had enlisted
his brother Jean also. Latour and Lafon were already
in Spain's service.41 This was the natural course of
events. England was still the enemy and Napoleon was
on the island of St. Helena-or was he? Fray Antonio
de Sedella, known in New Orleans as Pere Antoine,
was the head of Spain's secret service in Louisiana.
Fray Antonio had no maps of the Internal Prov-
inces of Mexico through which Anglo-Americans were
penetrating into Texas and Mexico. He commissioned
Latour and Jean Laffite to map the headwaters and
courses of the Red, Sabine, Trinidad, Arkansas, and
Colorado rivers. The two were absent from New
Orleans eight months fulfilling this assignment. Mean-
while, reports of the men and their activities were be-
ing sent to Spanish authorities 'in Cuba; and so it is
from Spanish archives we learn that Latour was about
forty-five years old at this time and that he was "a man
of great stature and vigorous frame. Black eyes illumi-
nated the dusky skin of his big round face. The youth-
ful blackness of his hair and his bush of beard and
whiskers had become well streaked with white."42
When Latour and Laffite returned to New Orleans,
Latour was chosen to take the maps and report of the
Internal Provinces to Cuba. He traveled under the alias
of John Williams and carried the following letter to
the Captain General, signed by "No. 13 and No. 13-
bis," the code numbers for Pierre and Jean Laffite:


xxxix

















INTRODUCTORY.


New Orleans, February 26, 1817. General: We
have the honor of sending to Your Excellency's
presence Mr. A. Latour, who will be he who de-
livers you this letter, clothed with all our con-
fidence, and he is charged with giving Your
Excellency every explanation that may be desired
concerning matters of importance to our govern-
ment. It is needless to enter into details that would
be very imperfectly set down in a letter. Your Ex-
cellency will learn them better from the lips of
Mr. Latour himself, who will satisfy you fully on
that particular. He is informed of all our secrets,
and Your Excellency may therefore question him
and receive from him such answers as you may
seek regarding the important matters on which
Pere Antoine has already reported to you.
We have charged Mr. Latour to suggest to you
the plan that we know to be quick and infallible
to bring about the desired result, that of putting
an end to the evils already committed and also of
preventing the greater evils that are preparing.
Your Excellency may be assured that the means we
propose by word of Mr. Latour comes as the result
of a long, profound reflexion and from our perfect
knowledge of the locality and of the individuals.
If the least doubt remains in Your Excellency's
mind you may remind yourself that during some
time past we have forewarned you of several im-
minent happenings that came to pass as we had
foretold.
The distance, the consequent difficulty and
danger of corresponding with Your Excellency, the
short time remaining, the indispensable secrecy
that should cover this matter, the paucity of means
to be employed, our own safety and, last of all, the
importance of the matter all demand that Your

















INTRODUCTORY.


Excellency send an accredited person who shall
hold Your Excellency's entire confidence and who
shall have ample authority to determine and order
whatever may be required by the importance of
the object in question.
We have the honor to be, with the most pro-
found respect to your Excellency, etc.,
No. 13
No. 13-bis

After quoting this letter, Faye adds this footnote:
"In the Spanish archive text, originating in Havana,
the signatures appear as Per Laffite and Juan Lafite,
but a note attached by Fray Antonio shows that the
French original forwarded from New Orleans was
signed with the symbols. Here and elsewhere the trans-
lation seeks to perceive the French (or English) original
through the archive text. Foreign language originals
were referred in Havana to the intendant's office for
translation and probably have perished with the in-
tendancy's office files, which the bookworm has de-
stroyed."43
Jos6 Cienfuegos, Captain General of Cuba, re-
ceived Latour and delegated Alejandro Ramirez to carry
on discussions with him. Ramirez was impressed with
Latour, as was Cienfuegos, who asked Latour to be his
agent in Louisiana. Latour refused this offer.
From this point on, Latour becomes a shadowy
figure again. Carpenter says he settled down in Cuba as
a farmer or a professional man. Faye says he accepted
an assignment from Cienfuegos which involved assum-
ing a Spanish alias, Almagro, and going to Philadelphia
to lure Napoleonic refugees from their Texas venture
and to spy upon plans for a slave revolt in the Antilles.44
As payment Latour asked for and received a land grant
on the Indian frontier near Pensacola.45

















INTRODUCTORY.


Joseph Napoleon was at this time established on
a 200-acre farm near Bordentown, New Jersey. This
was a center for French exiles, many of them generals
who had served Napoleon. They organized the Society
for the Cultivation of the Vine and the Olive, and suc-
ceeded in getting a land grant from Congress on the
Tombigbee of four contiguous townships, each six
miles square, for the cultivation of the vine and the
olive."4
Latour may have joined this group, and after the
Tombigbee experiment failed, may have returned to
Cuba. The following title, listed in Sabin, X, 105, indi-
cates Latour was in Cuba in 1823:

Proyecto de empedrado que presentaron al excmo.
Ayuntamiento D. Francisco Javier Troncoso, D.
Arsenio Lacarrier Latour y D. Juan Luis de Grun-
don. (n. p.) Imprenta de Diaz de Castro 1823 Folio,
pp. 14.

According to the testimony of Latour's godchild-
Camille Louise Boucher Douvillier, wife of Auguste
V. Dulch6, of New Orleans-Latour remained in Louisi-
ana for some time after he wrote his Historical Memoir.
"He then went to the Island of Cuba where he spent
four years in Havana, when he returned to his native
France, where in the latter part of 1839, he died in the
city of Paris.""47


II. The Book
Henry Adams said: "Latour was a trained French
engineer, whose services were extremely valuable, not
only during the campaign but afterwards, for he sub-
sequently wrote a 'History of the War in West Florida
and Louisiana,' which was far the best military work
















INTRODUCTORY. xliii

published in the United States till long after that time,
and furnished the only accurate maps and documents
of the campaign at New Orleans."48 One might add
that all accounts of the Battle of New Orleans written
by American historians since that time have been based
on Latour's Memoir. English historians have, for the
most part, ignored the War of 1812. Winston S. Church-
ill in A History of the English-Speaking Peoples dis-
posed of the whole war in a ten-page chapter which,
to say the least, shows he knew nothing about the
Battle of New Orleans. C. S. Forester, The Age of
Fighting Sail, is good reading but does not show much
penetration. An account of the whole war by a Britisher
was published two years after Latour's Memoir. This
was William James, A Full and Correct Account of the
War Between Great Britain and the United States of
America, 2 vols. (London, 1818).
However, to get the contemporary British point of
view one must rely on memoirs written by about half a
dozen Englishmen who took part in the Louisiana inva-
sion, and on accounts in the Jamaican press. In 1814-15
three daily newspapers and two weeklies were availa-
ble in Kingston.49 Letters, editorials, and shipping news
in these all confirm the accuracy of analysis and report-
ing which one would expect from an agent of Napoleon
who had been in Louisiana and West Florida for at
least twelve years. One cannot read Latour's technical
as well as fascinating description of the defeat of the
British at Fort Bowyer, with its minute attention to
details important from a military point of view, with-
out realizing that Latour knew the place and must have
surveyed the area himself and kept records of what he
saw. The same is true when he describes the bayou
approaches to New Orleans or indicates which spots
should be fortified. The whole book is testimony to a
statement which he made on page 116: "The perfect

















INTRODUCTORY.


knowledge I had of the situation .. animated me with
joyful assurance of success."
Not only did Latour know at first hand all the de-
tails, vulnerable and otherwise, of the whole coast area,
but he also understood the importance of the Baratar-
ians and their leaders-Jean and Pierre Laffite, their
oldest brother Dominique You, and Renato Beluche.
All of these were of French descent. The section of
Latour's book which deals with the Baratarians is most
enlightening. They felt the same hatred toward England
that Latour felt, and had the same desire to get re-
venge, and so they were loyal to the United States.
Indeed, Latour did not much overstate the truth when
he wrote that the English "found in every individual
[not citizen] in Louisiana, an enemy to Britain."
In the Preface and throughout the book Latour
identifies himself as a citizen of the United States when
he writes "the greatest part of the British force had
arrived on our coast," "the situation of our country,"
or "although our army was composed of heterogeneous
elements."
One notices Latour's skillful use of flattery. The
Frenchman speaks of "Colonel Michael Fortier, senior,
a respectable and worthy citizen of New Orleans," who
had superior command of the corps of men of color;
and then Latour goes on to make the point that a new
battalion of the same description formed by Savary,
the gallant captain from Saint-Domingue (Latour knew
the Haitians well-he had been there from 1793 until
perhaps 1802), was placed under the command of Major
Daquin of the Second Regiment of militia.
With similar strategy, Latour flatters even Presi-
dent Madison, saying that no one was more disposed
than he (Latour) "to acknowledge the firmness and wis-
dom that so strongly marked the line of conduct pur-
sued by our worthy President"; but there was no excuse


xliv

















INTRODUCTORY.


for the defenseless state in which Louisiana was found
at the time of the invasion. Gunboats had been re-
quested. Twenty-five gunboats might have saved Louisi-
ana "by rendering it impossible for the British to land."
Latour shows his military skill and common sense
when he deals with defenses on the west bank of the
Mississippi. The reader knows, without a specific state-
ment of blame being made, who the real culprits were
when the Kentuckians and Louisianians fled on Janu-
ary 8.
The appendix of sixty-nine sections, with several
documents in some sections, shows that Latour was
skilled in collecting pertinent data. Many of these
items, like the correspondence of Jackson and Cochrane
and Patterson, he could have gotten from Niles' Regis-
ter or other periodicals or newspapers, but where did
he get the Laffite correspondence?
William Tudor, a critic who reviewed Latour's
book in 1816, had followed the whole war carefully.
He was not interested in Latour but in the ordeal he
related. He pointed out that while the United States
made blunders during the war, the enemy committed
greater ones. Perhaps the most significant blunder was
not to have offered peace to the United States when the
war in Europe was over. "This would have appeared
the greatest magnanimity on their part, thus to waive
the opportunity of overwhelming us. The capture of
the frigates would have been forgotten and we should
have escaped from a luckless war, with all the disgrace
of our first defeats by land, and in the opinion of the
world and perhaps our own, should have thought we
owed our escape to the clemency of a generous and
powerful foe. . They came and were covered with
confusion and disgrace."50
Because the advice he gave Jackson was reliable,
and because of his performance as chief engineer of the



















INTRODUCTORY.


Seventh Military District, Latour helped in winning
the victory at New Orleans. His book and atlas are an
invaluable record of a crucial moment in the history of
the United States.


The editor wishes to thank her grandson, Mike de
Grummond, for helping her with the Index.


Baton Rouge, La. JANE LUCAS DE GRUMMOND
April 30, 1963



NOTES.

1. William Spence Robertson, France and Latin-American
Independence (Baltimore, 1939), 6-8.
2. Carpenter, "Latour," HAHR, XVIII, 222.
3. Norman B. Wilkinson, "The Assault on New Orleans,
1814-1815," in Louisiana History (Baton Rouge, Winter, 1962),
43-44.
4. Cullum, Campaigns of the War of 1812-15, 310; Harris Gay-
lord Warren, The Sword Was Their Passport (Baton Rouge,
1943), 180.
5. Historical Memoir, 8.
6. Isaac Joslin Cox, The West Florida Controversy, 1798-1813
(Baltimore, 1918), 94; James Ripley Jacobs, Tarnished Warrior
(New York, 1938), 206; Royal Oman Shreve, The Finished Scoun-
drel (Indianapolis, 1933), 129; J. A. Robertson, Louisiana Under
the Rule of Spain, France and the United States, 1785-1807, 2
vols. (Cleveland, 1911), II, 325-47.
7. Shreve, Finished Scoundrel, 132.
8. Dunbar Rowland (ed.), Official Letter Books of W. C. C.
Claiborne 1801-1816, 6 vols. (Jackson, 1917), III, 96-98.
9. Vincent Nolte, Fifty Years in Both Hemispheres (New York,
1854), 67-72.
10. Ibid., 73-74.
11. Ibid., 78.
12. Thomas Robson Hay, "Charles Williamson and the Burr
Conspiracy," in Journal of Southern History (Baton Rouge, May,
1936), II, 175-210.
13. William Spence Robertson, The Life of Miranda, 2 vols.
(Chapel Hill, 1929), I, 275-76.




















NOTES.


xlvii


14. Napoleon's reaction when Ouvrard reported was: "I don't
like merchants. A merchant is a man who would sell his country
for a shilling. . You have degraded royalty to the level of
trade." Nolte, Fifty Years, 78.
15. Ibid., 95.
16. This estimate is based on a count from Crew Lists, United
States Customs Archives, Port of New Orleans, August, 1804, to
the end of June, 1806.
17. Samuel Flagg Bemis, A Diplomatic History of the United
States (New York, 1942), 141.
18. Louisiana Gazette, July 1, 1810.
19. United States District Court of Louisiana, Cases No. 379,
380, 381, 401.
20. William B. Hatcher, Edward Livingston (Baton Rouge,
1940), 127-28.
21. January 5, 1807, Popham was superseded by Rear Admiral
Charles Stirling and ordered to England where he was tried by
naval court martial for having attempted the Buenos Aires ex-
pedition without orders. He laid his memoir of Sunday, October
14, 1804, before the court for inspection as part of the evidence
in his justification, but on the grounds of public policy agreed
that it should not be read aloud or printed. Documents-
"Miranda and the British Admiralty," American Historical Re-
view (Lancaster, April, 1901), VI, 509. The Court reprimanded
Captain Popham. Then the City of London presented him with
a sword of honor. On June 4, 1814, he was promoted to rear
admiral. Popham was the twenty-first child of his mother, who
died in giving him birth. Dictionary of National Biography
(London, 1950), XVI, 143-46. One wonders what the outcome
might have been if James Wilkinson had been loyal to Burr and
the Frenchman Liniers had not been in Buenos Aires.
22. Carlos A. Villanueva, Napoledn y la Independencia de
America (Paris, 1911), 172; Robertson, France and Latin-
American Independence, 41-45. Such wide-scale operation as
Napoleon planned was not a new procedure to the French.
Colbert had worked out global strategy when he organized the
West India Co. in 1664, the East India Co. in the same year,
the Co. of the North in 1669, the Co. of the Levant in 1670, the
Co. of the Pyranees in 1671, the First Co. of Senegal in 1679,
and the Second Co. of Senegal in 1679, and 1681. Stewart L.
v,.;.( Colbert's West India Policy (New Haven, 1912), 8-13.
23. Robertson, France and Latin-American Independence, 42.
24. London Gazette, July 2-July 5, 1808, quoted from Robert-
son, Life of Miranda, II, 24.
25. Robertson, France and Latin-American Independence, 66-




















xlviii


NOTES.


26. Caracciolo Parra-P6rez, Historia de la Primrera Repiiblica
de Venezuela, 2 vols. (Caracas, 1939), I, 362.
27. Robertson, France and Latin-American Independence, 67,
75.
28. Villanueva, Napoledn y la Independencia de Amrnica, 238-
41.
29. Napoleon should have said he had agreements with citi-
zens of the United States in Boston, New York, Philadelphia,
Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, and New Orleans who were in
the shipping business.
30. According to Robertson the date was October 2, 1809,
France and Latin-American Independence, 68; summary of in-
structions, 68-69.
31. William Walton, An Expose of the Dissentions of Spanish
America (London, 1814), Appendix, Document B, ii-vii.
32. Cox, lest Florida Controversy, 335.
33. Ibid., 330, 372, 415; Samuel Flagg Bemis, "Early Diplomatic
Missions from Buenos Aires to the United States, in 1811-1824,"
in Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Vol. 49,
Part K (Worcester, April, 1939), 28. On July 4, 1810, the Louisi-
ana Gazette published its version of events in Venezuela under
the big headline: "CARACAS FREE WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF
MIRANDA.
34. Cox, West Florida Controversy, 346-51.
35. One month later President Madison declared that the area
south of the Mississippi Territory from the Mississippi River east
to the Perdido belonged to the United States. He ordered
W. C. C. Claiborne, Governor of the Orleans Territory, to pro-
ceed there and annex the area to the Territory of Orleans.
36. New Orleans in 1805, page 35, lists Gilberto Guillemard
and after his name, "I male age de 16 ans et audysus, 1 female
age de 16 ans et audysus, 1 female slave over 16, 1 female slave
under 16, Address: 4 Rue d'Orleans."
37. Carpenter, "Latour," 222-23.
38. Historical Memoir, 8.
39. John Spencer Bassett (ed.), Correspondence of Andrew
Jackson, 7 vols. (Washington, 1926-35), VI, 443-44: Hatcher,
Edward Livingston, 210.
40. Archivo Hist6rico Nacional, Estado, Legajo 5560, Ex-
pediente 6, page 341, cited in Carpenter, "Latour," 224; Stanley
Faye, "The Great Stroke of Pierre Laffite," The Louisiana His-
torical Quarterly, XXIII (Baton Rouge, July, 1940), page 24 in
reprint.
41. Carpenter, "Latour," 224, citing AHN, Est., Leg. 5559,
Exp. 26, page 388; Warren, The Sword Was Their Passport, 180.
42. Faye, "Great Stroke of Pierre Laffite," 25. Carpenter esti-

































NOTES.


mates Latour's birth sometime between 1770 and 1775. Cullum
states that Latour was born during the French Revolution but
he must not have considered the Revolution as beginning in
1789. Otherwise Latour would have been four years old when,
after having received an excellent military education, he left for
Saint-Domingue in 1793. Cullum, Campaigns, 310.
43. Faye's source for this letter AGI, PdeC, Legajo 1898, Onis
to Pizarro, Nov. 22, 1818, Expediente 4, cited in "Great Stroke of
Pierre Laffite," 35; Carpenter's source-Pierre and Jean Laffite to
[Cienfuegos], February 26, 1817; Sedella to [Cienfuegos], March
1, 1817, AHN, Est., Leg. 5560, Exp. 6, pp. 334-37.
44. Faye, "Great Stroke of Pierre Laffite," 225.
45. Warren, The Sword Was Their Passport, 196.
46. Jesse S. Reeves, "The Napoleonic Exiles in America 1815-
1819," in Johns Hopkins University Studies in History and
Political Science (Baltimore, 1905), XXIII, No. 9-10, 543-65.
47. Cullum, Campaigns, 332.
48. History of the United States, VIII, 343.
49. For a complete record of personal letters and reports in
the Royal Gazette of Kingston, Jamaica, see Jane L. de Grum-
mond, "Platter of Glory," in Louisiana History, Fall, 1962.
50. The North American Review and Miscellaneous Journal,
III (July, 1816), 238.



























HISTORICAL MEMOIR

OF


THE WAR

IN


WEST FLORIDA AND LOUISIANA.















-C ,: ,I

Al--;


MA.j GA" ANDREW JACKSON


(^d *e< ac-f~w/ Rr lt L

~r~t .
~.c~:,,,,,,~


















HISTORICAL MEMOIR


OF


THE WAR

IN


WEST FLORIDA AND LOUISIANA


IN 1814-15.



WITH AN ATLAS.



BY MAJOR A. LACARRIERE LATOUR,
Principal Engineer in the late Seventh Military District United States' Army,


WRITTEN ORIGINALLY IN FRENCR, AND TRANSLATED FOR TRI ACTHOB,
BY H. P. NUGENT, ESQ.


Bls Tusci Rutulos egere ad castra reverso4,
Bis reject arms respectant terga tegentes.
rurbati fugiunt Rutul -
Disjectique duces, desolatique manipli,
Tuta petunt.-


PHILADELPHIA:
PUBLISHED BY JOHN CONRAD AND CO.
J. Maxwell, printer.
1816.








































DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, to wit:
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the sixth day ofMarch, in the fottieth year
of the independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1816, ARSENE
LACARRIERE LATOIlR, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title
of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Author, in the words following, to wit:
Historical Memoir of the war in West Florida and Louisiana in 1814-15.
with an Atlas. By major A. Lacarriere Latour, principal engineer in the late
seventh military district United States' army. Written originally in French,
and translated for the author, by H. P. Nugent, esqr.
Bis Tusci Rutulos egere ad castra reverses,
Bis reject armis respectant terga tegentes.
Turbati fugiunt Rutuli- -
Disjectique duces, desolaticue manipli,
Tuta petunt.---- Virg.
In conformity to the act of congress of the United States, entitled, "An act
for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and
books to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times there-
in mentioned." And also to the act, entitled, An act supplementary to
an act, entitled, An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the
copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such
copies during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits there-
of to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
DAVID CALDWELL,
COerk of the District of Pennsylvania.






















TO

MAJ. GEN. ANDREW JACKSON.

SIR,
Allow me to offer you the following pages, in which I have
endeavoured to record the events of that memorable cam-
paign which preserved our country from conquest and
desolation. The voice of the whole nation has spared
me the task of showing how much of these important re-
sults are due to the energy, ability and courage of a
single man.

Receive, sir, with this inadequate tribute to your high merits,
the assurance of respect and devotion with which I have
the honour to be,

Sir,

Your most obedient

and humble servant,

A. LACARRIERE LATOUR.

N'ew Orleans, August 16, 1815.



















PREFACE.


THE immense debt of Great Britain, and the ex-
penses of a war carried on for nearly twenty years
with hardly any intermission, having exhausted the or-
dinary sources of her riches, while the war continued to
rage with greater fury than ever, she found herself com-
pelled to create new resources to enable her to perse-
vere in the arduous struggle in which she was engaged.
For this purpose the rights of neutral nations, founded
on the principles of natural equity, established for many
ages by the unanimous consent of civilized nations, and
secured by the faith of a long succession of treaties,
were openly violated by the English government, which,
prompted by its inordinate ambition, wished to appro-
priate to itself the lives and fortunes of their peaceable
citizens. To accomplish this purpose, it became ne-
cessary to set aside those principles which, until then,
had been universally acknowledged, and to substitute
new political axioms in their stead. By the mere ar-
bitrary declaration of the British cabinet, the right of
blockade was extended over the most extensive coasts,
which all the maritime power of the world combined



















PREFACE.


could not have blockaded with effect." The obsolete
right of searching neutral ships for enemy's property,
this absurd remnant of the barbarous jurisprudence of
the dark ages, justly rejected by the more enlightened
policy of later times, was revived and enforced with in-

The pretended right of blockade never appeared in so ridi-
culous a light as immediately after the departure of the emperor
Napoleon from the island of Elba. It was then strongly surmised,
and not without some probability, that the British government had
connived at his escape, and to refute this charge, lord Liverpool
was compelled to declare in the house of lords, on the 7th of April,
1815, (see the newspapers of the times) that the whole British na-
vy would be insufficient to blockade the island of Elba; it is true,
he added the qualifying sentence: so as to prevent the escape of
an individual who chose to leave it. But when we consider the
manner in which Napoleon sailed from that island, with several
armed vessels, and a considerable body of troops, who will not
laugh at the blockading pretensions of Great Britain, if it is true,
as lord Liverpool clearly meant to intimate, that the whole British
navy was insufficient to prevent such an escape from a small
island?
Mathematical truth is not to be looked for in the speeches of
British ministers; the blockade of the port of Rochcfort by a sin-
gle squadron, which afterwards so effectually prevented the same
individual from escaping, even in an open boat, is an incontestible
proof of lord Liverpool's exaggeration; but it is not the less true,
that his assertion, exaggerated as it is, will ever remain the most
cutting satire against the absurd claims of his government on the
subject of blockade.
















PREFACE.


creased severity, and the right of pressing seamen on
board of neutral vessels was claimed as a consequence
of the same principle, while, by a further extension of
the rights of belligerents, the trade of neutrals with the
colonial possession of enemies, was at times entirely
prohibited, and at others partially tolerated, by decrees
which the belligerent government could construe at plea-
sure, and which only served to allure the unwary, and
secure a certain prey to the hungry swarm of British
cruisers. Thus the plunder of neutrals, and the im-
pressment of their seamen, were erected into a system,
the true principles of which could only be discovered
from its effects.
The United States of America, whose industrious
citizens carried on a regular and immense commerce
with all the nations of the globe, which had long ex-
cited the jealousy of their powerful rival, experienced
more than any other nation the pernicious effects of the
new system, conceived and executed by this over-
bearing state; and indeed it appeared to have been es-
tablished principally with a view to check their com-
mercial pursuits. The American vessels were plun-
dered, detained, or confiscated. The mariners were im-
pressed upon the most frivolous pretences, put on board
the ships of war of His Britannic majesty, and subject-
ed to the most rigorous treatment, in order to compel
them to shed their blood in a cause in which they were
















PREFACE.


not interested. On the high seas, in neutral har-
bours, upon the coasts, and even in the waters exclu-
sively subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,
the American seamen were seized by the petty offi-
cers of the British navy, who constituted themselves
judges, de facto, of the most sacred prerogatives of
man, and from the mere similarity of names, or, as
their caprice dictated, transformed a free citizen into a
slave, without regard to the place of his birth, or to the
natural and unalienable right, that all men have to
choose their country. The sacred flag of the govern-
ment itself was no longer a sufficient protection; the
sanctuary of a ship of war was violated-freemen were
dragged by force and carried away, in savage triumph,
from an American frigate sailing quietly, in the midst
of a profound peace;-the most ignominious punish-
ment- But I forbear.-This unheard of outrage,
which then, for the first time, astonished the world, has
been since sufficiently avenged.
The American government at first only opposed
to these enormous violations of the law of nations mild
and conciliating representations, and pacific measures,
which produced only some partial and momentary dis-
avowals and reparations. With the humane view of
saving the country from the horrors of war, and in
hopes of inducing England to adopt principles of equity
and moderation, by making her government perceive
















PREFACE.


that the people of America would never submit to mea-
sures so tyrannical and degrading, the national legis-
lature resolved to interdict every sort of foreign com-
merce, and laid an embargo on all the ports of the
United States.
This measure received the approbation of the
whole nation. The citizens no longer deceived them-
selves with respect to the views and motives of the Bri-
tish government. They preferred submitting for a time
to the inconveniences which the stagnation of commerce
would naturally produce, to seeing their country ex-
posed to endless humiliations, or compelled to engage
in a war, the effects of which could not be calculated.
For it was believed by many, that the constitution of
the United States was only suited for a.state of peace,
and that war would infallibly produce a dissolution of
the union. These considerations were weighty, and
might well induce a nation to pause before it involved
itself in a contest which seemed to threaten such a
fatal issue.-The embargo was then a wise measure,
as there appeared no alternative between it and war.
Indeed it is probable that if it had been continued, we
might have avoided a recourse to arms, and compelled
Great Britain to return to the practice, if not to the prin-
ciples of justice.
But it was not so ordered, and after little more than
one year the embargo was removed, Let us throw a
















rREFACE.


patriotic veil over the causes which produced this un-
expected step. It does not belong to me to inquire
into its expediency or its motives. Such an inquiry
is entirely foreign to the purposes of this work. As it
was to be expected, the resumption of maritime com-
merce was followed by a renewal of spoliations on the
part of Great Britain, who mistook our patience for
weakness, and ascribed to timidity and other unworthy
motives, a conduct which merely arose from an earnest
and laudable desire to preserve peace, and avoid the
effusion of human blood. Far from foreseeing the pri-
vations and hardships to which the people of America
would submit, and the exertions which they were ca-
pable of making, if driven to extremity, Britain, blind-
ed by her pride, saw in the removal of the embargo
nothing else than the result of an inordinate thirst for
maritime commerce, and an effeminate attachment to
the luxuries with which she had been in the habit of
supplying us. As little she foresaw how much she
would have to suffer before she discovered her mis-
take-how much of her treasure was to be spent, and
of her blood was tobe spilt, before she should be taught
to know the spirit and perseverance of a nation which
she affected to view with contempt. At last the repe-
tition of injuries filled the measure of American long-
animity, and WAR was solemnly declared by the United
States, on the 18th of June, 1812. So little premedi-
















PREFACE.


stated was this measure-so much was it produced by a
sudden burst of the national indignation, that no prepa-
rations had been made to support the dreadful contest
that was now about to take place. Our military es-
tablishment was hardly sufficient to afford garrisons for
the most exposed points of our widely-extended fron-
tier-the numerous ports upon our sea-board were
left exposed, unguarded and unfortified, and our ma-
rine consisted only of a few ships of war. But the
bravery and energy of our citizens promised abundant
resources for our military operations on the land side,
and the skill and martial ardour of our seamen, and
particularly their excellent commanders, presaged cer,
tain and glorious triumphs on the ocean. The riches
of an immense soil, and the activity and patriotism of
its inhabitants, gave a sufficient pledge to the govern-
ment to justify the reliance which they had placed on
the aid and co-operation of the nation, which, on another
and ever-memorable occasion, had proved to the world
that there are no sacrifices that it is not ready to make
in support of its independence, and in the defence of its
just rights.
Thus the United States were forced into a war
which they had not provoked;-America took up arms
in support of her rights, and for the preservation of her
national honour, with a firm determination not lay them
down until the object should be attained. Provi-
r1

















PREFACE.


dence blessed our efforts, and our arms were crowned
with the most brilliant triumphs over those of our ene-
my. The army and navy exhibited a noble rivalship
of zeal, devotion, and glory. In the one Lawrence,
Bainbridge, Decatur, Perry, M'Donough, Porter;-
in the other Pike, Scott, Brown, Jackson, and many
more, proved to the enemy, and to the world, that we
possessed resolution to defend our rights, and power to
avenge our injuries.
The relation of these various exploits is the proper
province of history. An abler pen than mine will one
day consecrate to posterity this monument of American
fame. My humble task has been to collect a part of
the materials that may serve to erect it, and which I
offer in the present work.
The volume which I present to the public is de-
voted to the relation of the campaign of the end of 1814
and beginning of 1815: that is to say, from the first ar-
rival of the British forces on the coast of Louisiana, in
September, until the total evacuation, in consequence of
the treaty of peace, including a period of about seven.
months. During that space of time, particularly from
the 14th of December to the 19th of January, events of
the highest importance succeeded each other with ra-
pidity; but it was in the short period, from the 23d of
December, the day of the landing of the British troops,


XIV
















PREFACE.


to the memorable 8th of January, that the American
arms acquired that lustre which no time can efface.
N3ec poterit tempius, nec edax abolere vetustas.
The preparations which the British government
had made for the conquest of Louisiana were immense.
So certain were they of complete success, that a full set
of officers, for the administration of civil government,
from the judge down to the tide-waiter, had embarked
on board of the squadron with the military force. The
British speculators, who are always found in the train of
military expeditions, had freighted a part of the trans-
ports for conveying the expected booty, which they es-
timated beforehand at more than fourteen millions of
dollars. The British government well knew that they
could not keep Louisiana, even if they should obtain
the possession of it. They were not ignorant that the
western states could pour down, if necessary, one hun-
dred thousand men to repel the invaders; they therefore
could only rely on a momentary occupation, which they
hoped, nevertheless, to prolong sufficiently to give them
time to pillage and lay waste the country. Therefore
they had neglected no means of securing the plunder
which they expected to make. Such, indeed, was their
certainty of success that it was not thought necessary
in Europe to conceal the object of the expedition. At
Bordeaux, at the time of the embarkation of the troops,
the conquest of Louisiana was publicly spoken of as an
















PREFACEK


enterprise that could not fail of succeeding, and the
British officers spoke of that campaign as of a party of
pleasure, in which there was to be neither difficulty nor
danger. It is even asserted, (though I will not vouch
for the truth of the assertion) that the prime minister of
Great Britain, lord Castlereagh, being at Paris when
the news of the capture of Washington arrived there,
boasted publicly that New Orleans and Louisiana would
soon be in the power of his countrymen.* Yet this
formidable expedition had already sailed from Europe
when its precise object and destination were not known
in America. It will be seen, in the course of this me-
moir, that about the beginning of December, the great-
est part of the British force had arrived on our coast,
when general Jackson had hardly sufficient time to
make the first preparations for defence. Without fear-
ing to be accused of flattery, we may justly call him
(under God) the saviour of Louisiana: for, in the space
of a few days, with discordant and heterogeneous ele-
ments, he created and organized the little army which
succeeded so well in humbling the British pride. It is
true, that the love of country, the haired of England,
the desire of avenging the outrages which we had suf-
fered from that haughty power, fired every heart;-but
all this would have availed nothing without the energy
of the commander-in-chief: which will appear so much


" Niles's Historical Register, vol. vii. p. 389.
















PREFACE.


the more extraordinary, when it is considered that he
was constantly sick during this memorable campaign,
so much so that he was on the point of being obliged
to resign his command. Although his body was ready
to sink under the weight of sickness, fatigue, and con-
tinual watching, his mind, nevertheless, never lost for a
moment that energy which he knew so well how to
communicate to all that surrounded him. To obstacles,
which to others would have appeared insurmountable-
to the want of the most indispensable supplies for the
army, he opposed the most constant perseverance, until
he succeeded either in obtaining what was required, or
in creating supplementary resources.
I have already said, that the energy manifested by
general Jackson spread, as it were, by contagion, and
communicated itself to the whole army. 1 shall add,
that there was nothing which those who composed it
did not feel themselves capable of performing, if he or-
dered it to be done; it was enough that he expressed a
wish, or threw out the slightest intimation, and imme-
diately a crowd of volunteers offered themselves to carry
his views into execution. Such perfect harmony-so
entire and reciprocal a confidence between the troops
and their commander, could not fail to produce the hap-
piest efects. Therefore, although our army was, as I
have already observed, composed of heterogeneous ele-
ments, of men speaking different languages, and brought


xvii
















PREFACE.


up in different habits, the most perfect union and har-
mony never ceased for a moment to prevail in our camp.
No one can better than myself bear testimony to the
good understanding that reigned among our troops. In
the course of the labours at the fortifications, which
were erected under my direction, I had occasion to em-
ploy soldiers in fatigue duty, who were drafted by de-
tachments from each of the several corps. These men
were kept hard at work even to the middle of the night,
and by that means lost the little portion of sleep which
they could have snatched in the interval of their mili-
tary duties. I was almost constantly with them, su-
perintending their labours; but I may truly say, that I
never heard among them the least murmur of discon-
tent, nor saw the least sign of impatience. Nay, more,
four-fifths of our army were composed of militia-men
or volunteers, who, it might be supposed, would with
difficulty have submitted to the severe discipline of a
camp, and of course would often have incurred punish-
ment; yet nothing of the kind took place; and I solemn-
ly declare, that not the smallest military punishment
was inflicted. This is a fact respecting which I defy con-
tradiction in the most formal manner. What, then, was
the cause of this miracle? The love of country, the
love of liberty. It was the consciousness of the dignity
of man-it was the noblest of feelings, which pervaded
and fired the souls of our defenders-which made them


xviii
















PREFACE. xiX

bear patiently with their sufferings, because the country
required it of them. They felt that they ought to resist
an enemy who had come to invade and to subdue their
country;-they knew that their wives, their children,
their nearest and dearest friends were but a few miles
behind their encampment, who, but for their exertions,
would inevitably become the victims and the prey of
a licentious soldiery. A noble city and a rich territory
looked up to them for protection; those whom their con-
duct was to save or devote to perdition, were in sight,
extending to them their supplicating hands. Here was a
scene to elicit the most latent sparks of courage. What
wonder, then, that it had so powerful an effect on the
minds of American soldiers-of Louisianian patriots!
Every one of those brave men felt the honour and im-
portance of his station, and exulted in the thought of
being the defender of his fellow citizens, and the
avenger of his country's wrongs. Such are the men
who will always be found, by those who may again pre-
sume to insult a free nation, determined to maintain and
preserve her rights.
I have in this work endeavoured to relate in de-
tail, with the utmost exactness and precision, the prin.
cipal events which took place in the course of this cam-
paign. I have related facts as I myself saw them, or as
they were told me by credible eye-witnesses. I do not
believe, that through the whole of this narrative I have






















PREFACE.


swerved from the truth in a single instance; if, how-
ever, by one of those unavoidable mistakes to which
every man is subject, I have involuntarily mis-stated, or
omitted to state, any material circumstance, I shall be
ready to acknowledge my error whenever it shall be
pointed out to me. I therefore invite those of my rea-
ders, who may observe any error in my narrative, to
be so good as to inform me of it, that I may correct it
in a subsequent edition.
Although several documents contained in the Ap-
pendix have been already published, I have nevertheless
thought proper to insert them as necessary parts of the
whole, and as the vouchers of the facts which I have
related. I might, indeed, have reduced some of them
to the form of an extract, but they would thereby have
lost -something of their original character. Some might,
perhaps, have doubted their authenticity. I therefore
preferred giving them entire.



















HISTORICAL MEMOIR

OF THE

WAR IN WEST FLORIDA AND LOUISIANA.




INTRODUCTION.

THE abdication of the emperor of the French,
and the temporary pacification of Europe, consequent
on that event, enabled Great Britain to dispose of the
numerous forces which she had till then employed
against France. The British cabinet resolved that
the war against the United States should be vigor-
ously prosecuted. The British presses were set to
work, in order to prepare the mind of the nation, and.
give it a bias favourable to the views of the govern-
ment. The same journals which for several years
had been filled with invectives against the emperor
Napoleon, now began to vilify the chief magistrate of
the United States. The artifices so long employed
to alienate the French nation from her chief, were
now resorted to against Mr. Madison. The friends,
or rather the agents of Britain, in the United States,
repeated the same calumnies, invented the same fic.
tions, advanced the same specious falsehoods, to de.
B
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


stroy the President's popularity, and incite the nation
to an insurrection against the government, which, ac-
cording to British writers and emissaries, had drawn
her into an impolitic, unjust, parricidal and sacrilegi-
ous war. It was, theymaintained, become necessary to
punish the inhabitants of the United States, for having
preferred a free government, of their own choice, to
that of a British king: nay, the United States must be
reduced to their original colonial subjection, as a chas-
tisement for their having dared to declare war against
Great Britain, rather than suffer the lives and fortunes
of their citizens to be forcibly employed in support of
the British flag; and for their having presumed to op-
pose those pretended maritime rights, to which all the
governments of Europe had thought proper to submit.
The ministerial papersdenouncedthe Americans as
rebels,the devoted objects of vengeance. British pub-
lications now breathed the same rage as at the period
of the declaration of our independence; and the minis-
terial writers had recourse to the grossest scurrilities
in their endeavours to vilify our government. As they
pretended that it was not against France that they had
waged so long a war, but against the chief who pre-
sided over her councils; so now they affected to pro-
claim that their hostilities were not directed against
the people of the United States, nor against the
American nation, but merely against the leader of a
dominant faction. It was to restore to our nation the
enjoyment of prosperity, that they were determined
to overturn our government! It was obvious that
the cessation of hostilities in Europe, would afford
Britain the means of executing a part of her threats;

















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


and reflecting men considered the fall of the emperor
of the French (so long wished for by the friends of
Britain) as a sure presage that we should soon have to
contend with a formidable British force by sea and
land; nor was it long before these apprehensions were
realized.
On the frontiers of Canada, the British had hither-
to conducted the war with much dexterity and in-
trigue, but without any considerable number of troops.
The courage of our soldiers could not remedy the
faults of our generals, and the two first campaigns
produced nothing more than some brilliant exploits,
some particular instances of bravery, that could have
no influence on great military operations. Courage
without military tactics, an ill-disciplined army con-
ducted without any fixed plan, with a defective sys-
tem of organization, were the means with which we
long opposed the British troops; and it may be truly
said that the two first campaigns in Canada were con-
sumed in a war of observation, and in the taking and
retaking of a few posts. The British, by all possible
means of seduction, had stirred up against us a great
number of Indians on the north-western confines of
the United States, and excited them to commit depre-
dations on our frontiers, and massacre our citizens.
History cannot record all the atrocities committed
by those allies of Great Britain, some of which are
of such a description that the most credulous would
disbelieve them, were not the facts supported by the
most creditable witnesses and the most authentic
proofs,
















V!S'?ORICAL MEMOIR.


Experience at last opened the eyes of our go-
vernment, and more numerous armies, under able
and faithful officers, were sent into Canada, to carry on
the war more effectually. It is foreign from the de-
sign of this work, to enter into any discussion on that
subject; and I will merely observe that it was in some
measure owing to a defect in the law then in force
for calling out the militia, that our military operations
in Canada, during the two first campaigns, were at-
tended with so little success. I allude to the law
which called out certain portions of the militia for six
months only, at the expiration of which term the
men were allowed to return home. Independent-
ly of the time necessary to repair from the middle
states to the frontiers of Canada, or to Louisiana,
six months are hardly sufficient to train a soldier
to military discipline and evolutions, so as to ren-
der him fit to contend in the field against veteran
troops. A subsequent law has, indeed, partly re-
medied this evil, by prolonging the time of ser-
vice to twelve months; but even this term would pro-
bably be insufficient, had we to carry on a war with
vigour.
The arrival of reinforcements to the British army
in Canada, was the prelude to more extensive opera-
tions. The taking of Washington, and the several
attacks made on different points of the Chesapeake,
sufficiently evinced the intention of the British go-
vernment, to endeavour to execute the threats de-
nounced against us through their newspapers. The
burning of Havre-de-Grace, the excesses committed
at Hampton, and at Frenchtown, enabled us to form a
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


just idea of the men who professed the intention of
delivering us from a government ridiculously despo-
tic," and who in the meantime insulted our wives and
daughters, destroyed or plundered our property, and
indiscriminately set fire to humble cottages and state-
ly palaces. The capitol itself, that noble monument
that might have commanded respect even from bar-
barians, became a prey to the flames; and that we
should not remain in doubt as to the fate we were
to expect, the commander of the British naval forces,
in an official communication to the secretary of
state, explicitly avowed his determination to continue
the same system of inhuman warfare, and to lay waste
and destroy the American coast, wherever assaila-
ble.* From that moment all eyes were opened; the
cry of indignation was heard from one extremity of
the union to the other, and all minds were now bent
on an obstinate and determined resistance. It was
evident to all that we had no longer to contend for
the precarious possession of an inconsiderable extent
of country, but that we were called on to defend our
wives and children from British insult and brutality;
our fortunes from the rapacity of British invaders, and
our homes from pillage, fire and devastation. Those
who had hitherto considered the war only as an ho-
nourable contest between two nations, mutually es-
teeming each other, but set at variance by conflicting
interests, were now convinced that our enemies were
determined to wage against us a war of extermina-
tion, and that we had to repel a savage foe, who came

See admiral Cochranc's letter in the Appendix, No. I.
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


to cover our country with mourning and desolation.
The Halifax papers announced the embarkation of
troops that had composed part of lord Wellington's
army. In the list of the regiments and of the general
officers, appear several of the former and of the latter
who since came to the banks of the Mississippi. The
expedition against New Orleans was to consist of
eighteen thousand men. The same papers predicted
that the calamities of war would be severely and
extensively felt by the inhabitants of the United
States.
From that time it was generally believed that the
British would attack the southern states in the ensu.
ing autumn or winter, and Louisiana was particularly
pointed out as their most probable object of invasion:
yet so ill does the general government appear to have
been served by its agents in that remote part of the
union, that as late as in the month of September,
nothing had been done in the way of effectual prepa-
rations, to put that country in a state of defence.
Louisiana, which was particularly marked out as
the principal point against which was to be directed
a formidable British force, with a considerable extent
of coast, numerous communications by water, and
with hardly any fortified points, open on all sides,
having in its neighbourhood a Spanish settlement
freely admitting the enemy's ships, and a great pro-
portion of whose population was disposed to aid him,
had no force on which to rely for the defence of her
shores, except six gun-boats and a sloop of war.
From the gallant defence made by the brave crews of
these vessels, we may judge what would have been

















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


effected by a number proportionate to the extent of
coast to be defended. Fort Plaquemines, that of
Petites Coquilles, and fort Bowyer at Mobile point,
were the only advanced points fortified; and none
of them capable of standing a regular siege.
It may now be made known, without any other
danger than that of its appearing incredible, that Lou-
isiana, whose coasts are accessible to such flat-bot-
tomed vessels as are used in conveying mortars, had
but two of these engines which belonged to the
navy, and which were landed from bomb-ketches
that had been condemned. Nor is this all: there
were not a hundred bombs of the calibre of those
mortars; nor, indeed, could much advantage be deri-
ved from them, however well served or supplied.
Professional men will understand, that from the con-
struction of their carriages, they were only fit to be
mounted on board of vessels, and by no means calcu-
lated for land batteries.
The fort of Petites Coquilles was not finished at
the time of the invasion, nor was it in a condition to
make an ordinary resistance. As to fort Bowyer, at
Mobile point, it will appear from the particular ac-
count given in this work of the two attacks it sustain-
ed, that the brave garrison defending it did all that
could be reasonably expected from its local situation
and means of resistance. Such was the inconsidera-
ble defence that protected the shores of Louisiana,
and covered a country that has an extent of coast of
upwards of six hundred miles, and of which even a
temporary possession by an enemy might be attend-
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


ed with consequences baneful to the future prosperity
of the western states. The general government
might and ought to have been well informed of
the vulnerable points of Louisiana. Accurate maps
of the country on a large scale had been made, by
the engineer B. Lafon and myself, and delivered to
brigadier-general Wilkinson, who, it is presumable,
did not fail to forward them to the secretary of war.
That part of the state, in particular, by which the
enemy penetrated, was there laid down, and in 1813
brigadier-general Flournoy ordered major Lafon, then
chief engineer of the district, to draw up an exact
account of all the points to be fortified for the general
defence of Louisiana. The draughts, which were
numerous, and formed an atlas, were accompanied
with very particular explanatory notes. That work,
which reflects great credit on its author, pointed out
in the most precise and clear manner what was expe-
dient to be done, in order to put the country in a
state of security against all surprise. I have always
understood that those draughts were ordered and ex-
ecuted for the purpose of being sent to the then se-
cretary of war, to enable the government to determine
in their wisdom the points proper to be fortified. To
what fatality then was it owing, that Louisiana,
whose means of defence were so inadequate; which
had but a scanty white population, composed, in a
great proportion, of foreigners speaking various lan-
guages; so remote from any succours, though one of
the keys of the union-was so long left without the
means of resisting the enemy? I shall be told that to
fortify the coast in time of peace, were to incur an
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


unnecessary expense. This position I by no means
admit; but I further observe that the war had already
existed two years; and we ought to have presumed,
had positive proof been wanting, that the British,
having numerous fleets, and every means of trans-
porting troops to all points of the coast of the United
States, would not fail to make an attempt against
Louisiana;-a country which already by its prodigi-
ous and unexampled progress in the culture of sugar,
was become a dangerous rival to the British colonies.
The city of New Orleans contained produce to a
vast amount. The cotton crops of the state of Lou-
isiana and-the Mississippi territory, accumulated du-
ring several years, were stored in that city, surround-
ed with considerable plantations, having numerous
gangs of slaves. It was, in a word, the emporium
of the produce of a great portion of the western
states. The Mississippi on which it lies, receives
the streams that water upwards of a million of square
miles, and wafts to New Orleans the annually in-
creasing productions of their fertile banks.-It is by
the Mississippi and the rivers emptying into it, that
the communication is kept up between the western
and northern states.-And by the Mississippi and
the Missouri, there will, at no distant period, be car-
ried on, without difficulty, or with very little obstruc-
tion, the most extensive inland navigation on the
globe.
All these advantages were calculated to excite
the cupidity of the British, and inspire them with the
desire of getting possession of a country which, be-
sides its territorial wealth, insured to whoever might
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


hold it, an immediate control over the western states.
In possessing themselves of Louisiana, the least fa-
vourable prospect of the enemy was the plunder of a
very considerable quantity of produce, the destruction
of a city destined to become commercial, and opu-
lent in the highest degree, and the ruin of numerous
plantations which must one day rival in their pro-
ductions, those of the finest colonies of European
nations. Their other prospects, less certain indeed,
but in which they were not a little sanguine, were
the separation of the western states from the rest of
the union; the possibility of transferring the theatre
of war to the westward, by the possession of the
Mississippi, and effecting a junction with their army
in Canada; and lastly, being masters of Louisiana, to
import by the river their various manufactures, and
secure to themselves the monopoly of the fur trade.
Let us now see in what manner the British began
to execute their hostile designs against Louisiana: In
the course of the summer of 1814, the brig Orpheus
had landed arms and officers in the bay of Apalachi-
cola, and entered into arrangements with the Creeks,
to act against fort Bowyer at Mobile point, justly
looked upon as a place the possession of which was
of the greatest importance towards the execution of
the grand operations projected against Louisiana.
The British officers diligently executed the object of
their instructions, and had completely succeeded in
rallying under their standard all the tribes of Indians
living to the east of the Chactaws, when an expedi-
tion of some troops, on board the sloops of war
Hermes and Caron, sailed from Bermuda under the


















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


command of colonel Nicholls, of the artillery, an en-
terprising, active, and brave officer, and on the 4th of
August touched at the Havanna, in hopes of obtain-
ing the co-operation of the Spanish governor, the as-
sistance of some gun-boats and small vessels, with
permission to land their troops and artillery at Pen-
sacola. On the refusal of the captain-general, they
sailed for Pensacola, determined to land there; al-
though the captain-general had positively refused to
grant them permission. (See Appendix, No. 2.)
Colonel Nicholls accordingly landed at Pensacola,
where he established his head-quarters, and enlisted
and publicly drilled Indians, who wore the British
uniform in the streets.
The object of that inconsiderable expedition ap-
pears to have been to sound the disposition of the in-
habitants of the Floridas and Louisiana; to procure
the information necessary for more important opera-
tions, and to secure pilots to conduct the expedition
on our coast and in our waters, rather than to attempt
any thing of importance.
Colonel Nicholls directed captain Lockyer of the
brig Sophia, to convey an officer to Barataria with a
packet for Mr. Lafitte, or whoever else might be at
the head of the privateers on Grande Terre.
To give a correct idea of that establishment at
Barataria, of which so much has been said, it is ne-
cessary to enter into some details, by a digression
which will naturally bring us back to our subject.
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


BARATARIA.
AT the period of the taking of Guadaloupe by the
British, most of the privateers commissioned by the
government of that island, and which were then on
a cruise, not being able to return to any of the West-
India islands, made for Barataria, there to take in a
supply of water and provisions, recruit the health of
their crews, and dispose of their prizes, which could
not be admitted into any of the ports of the United
States; we being at that time in peace with Great Bri-
tain. Most of the commissions granted to privateers
by the French government at Guadaloupe, having ex-
pired some time after the declaration of the inde-
pendence of Carthagena, many of the privateers re-
paired to that port, for the purpose of obtaining from
the new government, commissions for cruising against
Spanish vessels. They were all received by the
people of Carthagena with the enthusiasm which is
ever observed in a country that for the first time
shakes off the yoke of subjection; and indeed a con-
siderable number of men, accustomed to great politi-
cal convulsions, inured to the fatigues of war, and
who by their numerous cruises in the gulf of Mexi-
co and about the West-India islands, had become
well acquainted with all those coasts, and possessed
the most effectual means of annoying the royalists,
could not fail to be considered as an acquisition to
the new republic.
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


Having duly obtained their commissions, they in
a manner blockaded for a long time all the ports be-
longing to the royalists, and made numerous cap-
tures, which they carried into Barataria. Under this
denomination is comprised part of the coast of Loui-
siana to the west of the mouths of the Mississippi,
comprehended between Bastien bay on the east, and
the mouths of the river or bayou la Fourche on
the west. Not far from the sea are lakes called the
great, the small, and the larger lake of Barataria, com-
municating with one another by several large bayous
with a great number of branches. There is also the
island of Barataria, at the extremity of which is a place
called the Temple, which denomination it owes to
several mounds of shells thrown up there by the Indi-
ans, long before the settlement of Louisiana, and which
from the great quantity of human bones, are evident-
ly funereal and religious monuments.
The island is formed by the great and the small
lakes of Barataria, the bayou Pierrot, and the bayou
or river of Ouatchas, more generally known by the
name of bayou of Barataria; and finally the same de-
nomination is given to a large basin which extends
the whole length of the Cypress swamps, lakes, prai-
ries and bayous behind the plantations on the right
bank of the river, three miles above New Orleans, as
far as the gulf of Mexico, being about sixty miles in
length and thirty in breadth, bounded on the west by
the highlands of la Fourche, and on the east by those
of the right bank of the Mississippi. These waters
disembogue into the gulf by two entrances of the
lake or rather the bayou Barataria, between which
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


lies an island called Grande Terre, six miles in length
and from two to three miles in breadth, running pa-
rallel with the coast. In the western entrance is .the
great pass of Barataria, which has from nine to ten
feet of water. Within this pass, about two leagues
from the open sea, lies the only secure harbour on all
that coast, and accordingly this is the harbour fre-
quented by the privateers, so well known by the
name of Baratarians.* Social order has indeed to re-
gret that those men, mostly aliens, and cruising un-
der a foreign flag; so audaciously infringed our laws
as openly to make sale of their goods on our soil;
but what is much more deplorable and equally as-
tonishing is, that the agents of government in this
country so long tolerated such violation of our laws,
or at least delayed for four years to take effectual
measures to put a stop to these lawless practices.
It cannot be pretended that the country was desti-
tute of the means necessary to repress these outrages.
The troops stationed at New Orleans were sufficient
for that purpose, and it cannot be doubted but that
a well conducted expedition would have cleared our
waters of the privateers, and a proper garrison sta-
tioned at the place they made their harbour, would have
prevented their return. The species of impunity with
which they were apparently indulged, inasmuch as no
rigorous measures were resorted to against them, made
the contraband trade carried on at Barataria, be con-
sidered as tacitly tolerated. In a word, it is a fact
no less true than painful for me to assert, that at
Grande Terre, the privateers publicly made sale, by
*See plate No. 1, in the Atlas.
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


auction, of the cargoes of their prizes. From all
parts of Lower Louisiana people resorted to Barataria,
without being at all solicitous to conceal the object
of their journey. In the streets of New Orleans it
was usual for traders to give and receive orders for
purchasing goods at Barataria, with as little secrecy
as similar orders are given for Philadelphia or New-
York. The most respectable inhabitants of the state,
especially those living in the country, were in the
habit of purchasing smuggled goods coming from
Barataria. The frequent seizures made of those
goods, were but an ineffectual remedy of the evil, as
the great profit yielded by such parcels as escaped
the vigilance of the custom-house officers, indemni-
fied the traders for the loss of what they had paid for
the goods seized; their price being always very mode-
rate, by reason of the quantity of prizes brought in,
and of the impatience of the captors to turn them
into money, and sail on a new cruise. This traffic
was at length carried on with such scandalous noto-
riety, that the agents of government incurred very
general and open reprehension, many persons con-
tending that they had interested motives for conniv-
ing at such abuses, as smuggling was a source of
confiscation, from which they derived considerable
benefit.
It has been repeatedly asserted in the public prints
throughout the union, that most of those privateers
had no commissions, and were really pirates. This
I believe to be a calumny, as I am persuaded they
all had commissions either from Carthagena or from
France, of the validity of which it would seem the

















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


government of those respective countries were alone
competent judges.
The privateers of Barataria committed indeed a
great offence against the laws of the United States
in smuggling into their territory goods captured from
nations with which we were at peace; and for this
offence they justly deserved to be punished. But
in addition to this acknowledged guilt, to charge them
with the crime of piracy, when on the strictest inquiry
no proof whatsoever of any act amounting to this
species of criminality has been discovered, and though
since the pardon granted to them by the president of
the United States, they have shown their papers and
the exact list of the vessels captured by them, to eve-
ry one who chose to see them, seems evidently un-
just. Without wishing to extenuate their real crime,
that of having for four years carried on an illicit trade,
I again assert that the agents of government justly
merit the reproach of having neglected their duty.
The government must surely have been aware of the
pernicious consequences of this contraband trade; and
they had the means of putting a stop to it. It is true
that partial expeditions had been fitted out for that
purpose; but whether through want of judgment in the
plan, or through the fault of the persons command-
ing those expeditions, they answered no other purpose
than to suspend this contraband trade in one part, by
making it take a more western direction. Cat island,
at the mouth of the bayou or river la Fourche,
became the temporary larbour of the privateers,
whose vessels were too well armed to apprehend an

















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


attack from land troops in ordinary transports. Hence
the troops stationed at Grande Terre, ]a Fourche, &c.
could do no more than prevent the continuance of
the illegal trade, while they were on the spot; but on
their departure, the Baratarians immediately return-
ed to their former station.
There have been those who pretended that the pri-
vateers of Barataria were secretly encouraged by the
English, who were glad to see a commerce carried on
that must prove so injurious to the revenue of the Uni-
ted States. But this charge is fully refuted by this fact,
that at different times the English sought to attack
the privateers at Barataria, in hopes of taking their
prizes, and even their armed vessels. Of these at-
tempts of the British, suffice it to instance that of the
23d of June, 1813, when two privateers being at an-
chor off Cat island, a British sloop of war anchored at
the entrance of the pass, and sent her boats to en-
deavour to take the privateers; but they were repuls-
ed after having sustained considerable loss.
Such was the state of affairs when on the 2d of
September 1814, there appeared an armed brig on the
coast opposite the pass. She fired a gun at a vessel
about to enter and forced her to run aground; she
ihen tacked and shortly alter came to an anchor at
ihe entrance of the pass. It was not easy to un-
derstand the intentions of this vessel, who having
commenced with hostilities on her first appearance,
now seemed to announce an amicable disposition.
Mr. Lafitte, the younger, went oil' in a bo.it to ex-
amine her, venturing so lir that he could not cv-
















IIISIORICAL MEMOIR.


cape from the pinnace sent from the brig and making
towards the shore, bearing British colours and a flag
of truce. In this pinnace were two British naval
officers, captain Lockyer, commander of the brig,
and an officer who interpreted for him, with captain
Williams of the infantry. The first question they
asked was, where was Mr. Lafitte? He, not choos-
ing to make himself known to them, replied that the
person they inquired for was on shore. They then
delivered him a packet directed "To Mr. Lafitte-Ba-
rataria;" requesting him to take particular care of it,
and to deliver it into Mr. Lafitte's own hands. He pre-
vailed on them to make for the shore, and as soon
as they got near enough to be in his power, he made
himself known, recommending to them at the same
time to conceal the business on which they had
come. Upwards of two hundred persons lined the
shore, and it was a general cry amongst the crews of
the privateers at Grande Terre, that those British
officers should be made prisoners and sent to New-
Orleans, as being spies who had come under feigned
pretences to examine the coast and the passages,
with intent to invade and ravage the country. It
was with much difficulty that Mr. Lafitte succeeded
in dissuading the multitude from this intent, and led
the officers in safety to his dwelling. He thought,
very prudently, that the papers contained in the pack-
et might be of importance towards the safety of the
country, and that the officers, being closely watched,
could obtain no intelligence that might turn to the
detriment of Louisiana. He took the earliest oppor-
tunity, after the agitation among the crews had sub
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


sided, to examine the contents of the packet; in
which he found a proclamation addressed by colonel
Edward Nicholls, in the service of his Britannic Ma-
jesty and commander of the land forces on the coast
of Florida, to the inhabitants of Louisiana, dated Head-
quarters, Pensacola, 29th .4Aug-ust, 1 14; a letter from
the same, directed to Mr. Lafitte, or to the com-
mandacnt at Baratria; an official letter fi-om the ho-
nourable W. H. Percy, captain of the sloop of war
Hermes, and commander of the naval forces in the
gulf of Mexico, dated September 1st, 1814, directed
to himsclif and finally, a letter containing orders from
the same captain Percy, written on the 30th of Au-
gust on board the Hermes, in the road of Pensacola,
to the same captain Lockyer commanding the sloop
of war Sophia. (For these different papers sec Ap-
pendix, No. 3.)
When Mr. Lafitte had perused these papers, cap-
tain Lockyer enlarged on the subject of them, and
proposed to him to enter into the service of his Bri-
tannic majesty with all those who were under his
command, or over whom he had sufficient influence;
and likewise to lay at the disposal of the officers of
his Britannic majesty the armed vessels he had at
Barataria, to aid in the intended attack of the fort of
Mobile. He insisted much on the great advantages
that would thence result to himself and his crews;
offered him the rank of captain in the British service,
and the sum of thirty thousand dollars, payable, at his
option, in Pensacola or New Orleans, and urged him
not to let slip this opportunity of acquiring fortune and
consideration. On Mr. Lafitte's requiring a few days
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


to reflect upon these proposals, captain Lockyer ob
served to him that no reflection could be necessary,re-
specting proposals that obviously precluded hesitation,
as he was a Frenchman, and of course now a friend
to Great Britain, proscribed by the American govern-
ment, exposed to infamy, and had a brother at that
very time loaded with irons in the jail of New-Or-
leans. He added, that in the British service he would
have a fair prospect of promotion; that having such
a knowledge of the country, his services would be
of the greatest importance in carrying on the opera-
tions which the British government had planned
against Lowcr Louisilna; that, as soon as posses-
sion was obt. in.i, he army would penetrate into
the upper country, and act in concert with the forces
in Canada; that every thing was already prepared for
carrying on the war against the American govern-
ment in that quarter with unusual vigour; that they
were nearly sure of success, expecting to find little
or no opposition from the French and Spanish popu-
lation of Louisiana, whose interests, manners and
customs were more congenial with theirs than with
those of the Americans; that finally, the insurrection
of the negroes, to whom they would offer freedom,
was one of the chief means they intended to employ,
being confident of its success.
To all these splendid promises, all these ensnaring
insinuations, MIr. Lafitte replied, that in a few days he
would give a final answer; his object in this procras-
tination being to gain time to inform the officers of
the state government of this nefarious project. Hav-
ing occasion to go to some distance for a short time.

















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


the persons who had proposed to send the British offi-
cers prisoners to New-Orleans, went and seized them
in his absence, and confined both them and the crew
of Uiie pinnace, in a secure place, leaving a guard at
the door. The British officers sent for Mr. Lafitte:
but he, fearing an insurrection of the crews of the pri-
vateers, thought it advisable not to see them, until he
had first persuaded their captains and officers to desist
from the measures on which they seemed bent. With
this view he represented to the latter that, besides
the infamy that would attach to them, if they treated
as prisoners, persons who had come with a flag of
truce, they would lose the opportunity of discovering
the extent of the projects of the British against Lou-
isiana, and learning the names of their agents in the
country. While Mr. Lafitte was thus endeavour-
ing to bring over his people to his sentiments, the
British remained prisoners the whole night, the sloop
of wvar continuing at anchor before the pass, waiting
for the return of the officers. Early the next morn-
ing, Mr. Lafitte caused them to be released from
their confinement, and saw them safe aboard their
pinnace, apologizing for the disagreeable treatment
they had received, and which it had not been in his
power to prevent. Shortly after their departure, he
wrote to captain Lockver the letter that may be seen
in the Appendix, No. 4.
His object in writing that letter was, by appearing
disposed to accede to their proposal, to give time to
communicate the affair to the officers of the state go-
vernment, and to receive from them instructions how

















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


to act, under circumstances so critical and important
for the country. He accordingly wrote on the 4th
of September to Mr. Blanque, one of the representa-
tives of the state, sending him all the papers deliver-
ed to him by the British officers, with a letter ad-
dressed to his excellency W. C. C. Claiborne, gover-
nor of the state of Louisiana. (See Appendix, No. 5.)
The contents of these letters do honour to Mr. La-
fitte's judgment, and evince his sincere attachment to
the American cause.
Persuaded that the country was about to be vi-
gorously attacked, and knowing that at that time it
was little prepared for resistance, he did what his duty
prescribed; apprising government of the impending
danger; tendering his services, should it be thought
expedient to employ the assistance of his crews,
and desiring instructions how to act; and in case of his
offers being rejected, he declared his intention to quit
the country, lest he should be charged with having co-
operated with the invading enemy. On the receipt of
this packet from Mr. Lafitte, Mr. Blanque immediate-
ly laid its contents before the governor, who convened
the committee of defence lately formed, of which he
was president; and Mr. Rancher, the bearer of Mr.
Lafitte's packet, was sent back with a verbal answer,
of which it is understood that the purport was to de-
sire him to take no steps until it should be determin-
ed what was expedient to be done; it is added, that
the message contained an assurance that, in the mean-
time, no steps should be taken against him for his
past offences against the laws of the United States.

















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


At the expiration of the time agreed on with cap-
tain Lockyer, his ship appeared again on the coast
with two others, and continued standing off and on
before the pass for several days.
Mr. Lafitte now wrote a second letter to Mr.
Blanque, urging him to send him an answer and
instructions. (See Appendix No. 6.) In the mean-
time he appeared not to perceive the return of the
sloop of war, who, tired of waiting to no purpose,
and mistrusting Mr. Lafitte's intentions, put out to
sea and disappeared.
About this time, Mr. Lafitte received informa-
tion that instead of accepting his services, and en-
deavouring to take advantage of the confidence the
British had in him, to secure the country against an
invasion, and defeat all their projects, the constituted
authorities were fitting out at New-Orleans a formi-
dable expedition against Barataria. He then retired to
the German coast, where, strictly adhering to the
principles he had professed, he warned the inhabit-
ants of the danger with which they were threatened
from the means intended to be employed by the
enemy.
About this time, there fell into Mr. Lafitte's hands
an anonymous letter directed to a person in New-Or-
leans, the contents of which left no doubt as to the
intentions of the British, and which is the more in-
teresting, as all that it announced has since been fully
verified. (See Appendix, No. 2.)
Such are the particulars of the first attempt made
by the British against Louisiana-an attempt in which

















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


they employed such unjustifiable arts, that it may
fairly be inferred that the Eritish government scru-
ples not to descend to the basest means, when such
appear likely to contribute to the attainment of its
ends. Notwithstanding the solemn professions of
respect for the persons and property of the inhabit-
ants, so emphatically made in the proclamation of
colonel Nicholls, we see that one of their chief
reliance for the success of operations in Louisiana,
was on the insurrection of the negroes. Is it not
then evident from this, that the British were bent on
the destruction of a country whose rivalship they
feared in their colonial productions, and that the ca-
binet of St. James had determined to carry on a
war of plunder and devastation against Louisiana?
In coming to Barataria, to endeavour to gain over
the privateers to their interests, they acted consist-
ently with their known principles, and on a calcula
tion of probabilities; for it was an obvious presump-
tion that a body of men proscribed in a country whose
laws they had violated, reflecting on their precarious
existence, would embrace so favourable an opportu-
nity of recovering an erect attitude in society, by
ranging themsLlves under the banners of a powerful
nation. But this calculation of the British proved
fallacious; and in this instance, as in every other, they
found in every individual in Louisiana, an enemy
to Britain, ever ready to take up arms against her;
and those very men, whose aid they ,o confidently
expected to obtain, signally proved throughout; ile
campaign, particularly in the service oi the bat
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


teries at Jackson's lines, that the agents of the Bri-
tish government had formed a very erroneous opinion
of them. (See Note No. 1, at the end of the volume.)



The British finding themselves disappointed in
their expectation of drawing over to their interests
the privateersmen of Barataria, concentrated their
preparations at Pensacola and Apalachicola. In this
latter place, they had landed not only troops, but also
twenty-two thousand stand of arms, with ammuni-
tion, blankets, and clothing, to be distributed among
the Indians; and it was generally reported at that time,
that several of their vessels had already sailed for
Jamaica, to take in black troops.
General Armstrong, the then secretary of war, by
a circular letter of the 4th of July, had informed the
different state governments of the quota of militia
they were respectively to furnish, pursuant to the
president's requisition of the same date. (See Ap-
pendix, No. 7.) On the 6th of August, the go-
vernor of the state of Louisiana published, conform-
ably to that requisition, militia general orders, in
which, after having laid before his constituents the
views and intentions of the general government, to
employ an adequate force to maintain with honour
the contest in which our country was engaged, he
exhorted the citizens of the state zealously to stand
the necessary draught for completing the thousand
men demanded by the above mentioned requisition.
(See Appendix, No. 8.)















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


All the western and southern newspapers were at
that time loudly inveighing against the shameful as-
sistance afforded by the governor of Pensacola to the
British, at least inasmuch as he suffered the charac-
ter of his nation to be sullied, by permitting them
publicly to make hostile preparations in that town,
where they had established their head-quarters, and
where they were, if not the nominal, at least the vir-
tual masters. Such repeated violations, and the suc-
cours constantly furnished to the Indians, who were
evidently the allies of our enemy, contributed not a
little to rouse the national spirit in that part of the
union. I cannot refrain from giving here an extract
from one of the papers that appeared about that time,
in which the writer, after having enumerated all the
grievances that the United States had to complain of
against the Spanish governor of Florida, says: who
of us would not prefer to take his fortune as a com-
mon soldier, to remaining at home in affluence, while
the community of which he is a member, submits
tamely, silently and unresistingly to such indignities."
The commander-in-chief of the 7th district, wrote
to the governor of the state, from fort Jackson, on
the 15th of August, announcing to him the necessity
of holding all the forces of Louisiana militia in readi-
ness to march at the first signal, in consequence of
the preparations making at Pensacola, of which he
had received certain information. (See Appendix,
No. 9.) Conformably to this order, the governor
published in militia general orders, an extract from
his letter to the commanders of the two divisions of
state militia, in which he gave them instructions and
regulations for their respective divisions. Commo-
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


dore Patterson, commanding the station of New Or-
leans and its dependencies, received intelligence of
the appearance of five British ships of war, which had
landed a small number of men on the point at Dau-
phine island.
General Jackson had at this time removed his
head-quarters to Mobile, from which place he wrote
to the governor, on the 22d of August, a letter of
which the following is an extract:
I have no power to stipulate with any particu-
lar corps, as to particular or local service; but it is
not to be presumed at present, that the troops cf Lou-
isiana will have to extend their services beyond the
limits of their own state. Yet circumstances might
arise, which would make it necessary they should be
called to face an invading enemy beyond the bounda-
ry of the state, to stop his entry into their territory."
In consequence of this letter, the governor pub-
lished, on the 5th of September, militia general or-
ders, and afterwards general orders, directing the mi-
litia of the two divisions of the state, to hold them-
selves in readiness to march, the first division under
major-general Viller&, being to be reviewed on the
10th of the same month, by major Hughes, assistant
inspector-general of the district, in the city of New
Orleans; and the second, under the command of ma-
jor-general Thomas, to be reviewed at Baton Rouge
on the first of October. (See Appendix, No. 10.)
By another general order, dated New Orleans,
8th September, governor Claiborne ordered the dif-
ferent militia companies in the city and suburbs of
New Orleans, to exercise twice, and those of the
















HISTORICAL MEMOIR.


other parts of the state, once a week. He also re-
commended to fathers of families, and men whose
advanced age exempted them from active service in
the field, to form themselves into corps of veterans,
choose their own officers, procure arms, and to exer-
cise occasionally. The governor announces to his
fellow citizens the dangers with which the country is
threatened, urging to them that the preservation of
their property, the repose and tranquillity of their
families, call on every individual to exert all his ef-
forts and vigilance; his order enters into minute de-
tails as to the precautions and police to be observed in
the existing circumstances; it recommends the great-
est diligence to be exerted in procuring arms, and
the greatest care to be taken of them; and finally pre-
scribes the conduct to be observed by all the militia
officers, in case of the enemy's penetrating into the
state. (See Appendix, No. 11.)
About that time, there appeared a Spanish trans-
lation of an order of the day published at Pensacola,
addressed to a detachment of the royal marines at the
moment of their landing. This piece, written in a
style of importance that might be used in addressing
a numerous army, from which might be expected
the most brilliant military achievements, breathes in-
veterate hatred against the Americans, loudly an-
nouncing that the object of the expedition is to
avenge the Spaniards for the pretended insults offered
them by the United States.
That document, replete with invectives against
the American character, contains moreover a strong
recommendation to sobriety; and from the earnest